Dr Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Maryland, U.S has assured Nigerians of the efficacy of booster shots in the fight against COVID-19.
Fauci is also the Chief Medical Adviser to the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden.
He gave the assurance on Monday during a webinar at the National Summit on COVID-19 with the theme: “End the Pandemic and Build Back Better.”
The event was organised by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the COVID-19 vaccine boosters shots and are now authorised by the PSC and been recommended by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) for eligible Nigerians.
A COVID-19 booster shot is an additional dose of a vaccine given after the protection provided by the prescribed shot(s) has begun to decrease over time.
The booster shot is designed to help people maintain their level of immunity for longer periods.
The White House chief medical advisor said that studies strongly suggest that booster shots protect against a wide range of COVID–19 variants, but added scientists were undertaking further researches on it.
Fauci said booster shots markedly increase antibody titers against variants of the virus.
“The third shots also increase so-called memory B cells and T cells, a line of defense produced by the immune system to fend off a virus.
“Memory B cells create antibodies to fight bacteria and viruses, while T cells target and destroy other cells infected with a virus.
“There is every reason to believe that if you get vaccinated and boosted that you would have at least some degree of cross-protection,” Fauci assured.
While explaining the post-COVID-19 infection condition, he said that these conditions could present as different types and combinations of health problems for different lengths of time.
“Some people experience a range of new or ongoing symptoms that can last weeks or months after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19,” he said.
The expert said that viruses constantly changed through mutation, adding that when a virus had one or more new mutations it is called a variant of the original virus.
He added that the Delta variant, which remained the dominant variant in the U.S was more transmissible than the Alpha variant.
He, however, said that researches on the Omicron variant was a bit encouraging, following early figures from South Africa that suggest it may not be as bad as initially feared.
He cautioned that more data was needed to draw a complete picture of Omicron’s risk profile.