Booster vaccination is necessary in combating SARS-CoV-2 infection

Children's Hospital Zhejiang University School of Medicine

Presumably emerging at the end of 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a severe threat to public health and safety, inducing much stress on daily living and working. Countries around the world have been actively engaged in the development and inoculation of COVID-19 vaccines. It is widely acknowledged that the first-generation SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have played a significant role in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing severe disease picture and reducing mortality. However, while the entire world is working to combat COVID-19, the virus itself is constantly changing.

The continuous emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants, as well as ongoing breakthrough infections, have brought additional challenges for the next phase. Meanwhile, it is a commonly accepted fact that the neutralizing antibody level in the recipients decreases with time, and the vaccine’s protective efficacy is gradually weakened. There is a heated debate about whether to carry out the booster vaccination strategy. The team of researchers from the Children’s Hospital Zhejiang University School of Medicine paid close attention to the COVID-19 situation and has attempted to contribute to resolving some of the controversies surrounding COVID-19 by summarizing and analyzing the necessity of booster vaccination, priority groups for booster vaccination, heterologous booster vaccination strategies and safety considerations of a booster vaccination.

They came to the conclusion that it is essential to implement booster immunization strategies. Priority should be given to high-risk groups, the elderly and immunocompromised people. In addition, heterologous vaccination,  which involves the administration of a different vaccine than previously administered, has longer persistence and a broader spectrum than receiving the same vaccine, making it better suited to dealing with SARS-CoV-2 variants.

据推测最早在2019年底出现的新冠肺炎(COVID-19)疫情大流行对公共卫生和安全构成了严重威胁,给人们的日常生活和工作带来了很大压力。世界各国都积极参与到新冠肺炎疫苗研发和接种工作中。众所周知,第一代SARS-CoV-2疫苗在控制新冠病毒传播、预防重症、降低死亡率等方面发挥了重要作用。然而,在全世界努力抗击COVID-19的同时,病毒本身也在不断变化中。

SARS-CoV-2变异毒株的持续出现以及不断发生的突破性感染,为下一阶段的新冠疫情防控带来了额外的挑战。同时,疫苗接种者体内的中和抗体水平会随着时间的推移而降低,疫苗的保护作用逐渐减弱,这是一个公认的事实。关于是否实施加强疫苗接种策略,目前尚存在着激烈的争论。浙江大学医学院附属儿童医院的研究团队一直密切关注着新冠肺炎疫情,并总结分析了加强疫苗接种的必要性、加强疫苗接种的重点人群、异源加强接种策略及加强疫苗接种的安全性等。

他们得出的结论是,实施新冠疫苗加强接种策略是至关重要的。加强接种应优先考虑高危人群、老年人和免疫功能低下者。此外,异源加强接种策略,即接种不同于之前接种的疫苗,比同源加强接种具有更好的持久性和广泛性,因此更适合于应对SARS-CoV-2变异毒株。

 

Reference: Meng H, Mao J, Ye Q. Strategies and safety considerations of booster vaccination in COVID-19. Bosn J of Basic Med Sci [Internet]. 2022Apr.3 [cited 2022Apr.10];. Available from: https://www.bjbms.org/ojs/index.php/bjbms/article/view/7082

Editor: Merima Bukva, MPharm

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