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Get an mRNA booster jab, respiratory specialist advises

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Everyone should go in for an mRNA booster jab as Covid-19 will mutate over time, Vichaiyut Hospital respiratory specialist Dr Manoon Leechawengwongs warned on Thursday.

He said the dominant Covid-19 strain is currently Omicron BA.2, which can overcome immunity provided by vaccines.

Dr Manoon also expects the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants to become dominant strains in the future.

He advised all healthy Thais to receive at least three Covid-19 jabs, while those with chronic diseases, the pregnant and the elderly must have four.

Manoon said an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) must be included in the jabs to ensure increased immunity and safety.

He said people who have been given three Sinovac or Sinopharm jabs, or two Sinovac jabs and an AstraZeneca booster, must receive at least one mRNA booster.

Two AstraZeneca jabs and a Pfizer or Moderna booster provide 90 per cent immunity against developing severe symptoms and death, and the efficiency will increase up to 99 per cent after receiving the fourth mRNA jab, he pointed out.

The doctor advised people with chronic diseases, pregnant women and the elderly to go in for a fourth jab – Pfizer or Moderna – three months after receiving the third.

He said others should get their fourth jab – an mRNA – four months after receiving the third.

It is up to each person whether to follow the recommendation to get a booster jab every four months or wait for a new generation of Covid-19 vaccines, Manoon said.

“In the future, we will have a new Moderna vaccine which can protect people from Omicron and the virus’s original strains,” he said, adding that people would have to receive this vaccine annually, similar to influenza.

Published : June 23, 2022

By : THE NATION