Janssen receivers should be prioritised for booster as protection "down to zero" says health expert
“We have to ask the question – what are we trying to achieve?"
Immunology expert Professor Paul Moynagh is calling for those who got the Janssen vaccine to be prioritised for the booster rollout.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Moynagh said that the level of protection for those who have received this vaccine was now "down to zero".
"That is the group that requires boosters to give them some protection against infection," the director of the Kathleen Lonsdale Institute for Human Health research at Maynooth University said.
Moynagh argued that public health should prioritise this cohort and that he had great sympathy for the young people of Ireland who have been asked specifically to reduce their social contacts.
He also explained that different cohorts at different times were at the peak of cases, with it previously being young school children and now being young adults, and is another cause for them to get boosted sooner.
Moynagh also stated that a fourth dose "could be a reality" as it is currently being rolled out in Israel, and we could need a booster vaccine every few months.
“We have to ask the question, what are we trying to achieve?” he said.
He noted that while the two doses provide immunity against serious illness, the booster dose is needed to fight serious infection.
While it does not prevent you from getting the virus, Moynagh said that is difficult to achieve with a respiratory virus like Covid with mild infection possibly becoming the new normal.
With this, it would mean Omicron case figures would continue to increase but warned that the impaction on hospitalisations with this vaccine is still unknown.
Data from South Africa shows that it is more of an upper respiratory infection which was “good news”, as if it is a lower infection it can "cause damage", according to Moynagh.