Third vaccine rollout needed to deal with Omicron, advises expert virologist
A third vaccination drive is necessary to deal with the Omicron Covid-19 variant, expert virologist Dr Yong Poovorawan said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
Comparing the battle against Covid-19 to a long marathon, Dr Yong said people should be given inactivated vaccines like Sinopharm or Sinovac for their first two jabs as they have few side effects.
However, he said, all three jabs of a viral-vector vaccine like AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson is not suitable because recipients’ immunity drops over a short period.
He added that though mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna provide high immunity, they also have high side effects.
“Swollen lymph nodes were found in some people who received an mRNA vaccine as their third jab, while heart muscle inflammation was found in some whose second shot was an mRNA vaccine,” he said.
Dr Yong said boosters can be provided in the following combinations:
• Two jabs of inactivated vaccine: The third jab can be a viral-vector or mRNA vaccine and delivered one month after the second jab. Both viral-vector and mRNA vaccines can be delivered as fourth shots to deal with new Covid-19 variants.
• Inactivated and viral-vector cocktail: A booster of a viral-vector or mRNA vaccine can be administered three months after the second jab. If the third jab is a viral-vector vaccine, then the fourth jab should be an mRNA one.
• Two viral-vector jabs: The third jab should be an mRNA vaccine administered three to six months after the second jab. If people prefer a viral-vector booster, then the interval must be longer than six months to ensure high immunity.
• Two mRNA jabs: The third jab can be an mRNA vaccine depending on the Covid-19 situation.