BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct.6
The increase in seasonal illness due to cold weather leads to a weakening of the immune system, making it necessary to improve the immunity resistance to coronavirus (COVID-19), Trend reports.
As of October 5, over 8.7 million people have been vaccinated from COVID-19 in Azerbaijan, including over 3.9 million who received both doses.
According to the World Bank's Europe and Central Asia report, in Azerbaijan, the number of fully vaccinated people (to whom both doses were injected) is higher than the global average indicator.
Experts say that with the beginning of the cold season, the risk of further spread of the epidemic increases. Besides, the more contagious strain of COVID-19 - Delta is on the agenda, prompting a more active fight against the virus. Currently, the world's leading countries have begun administering a third dose of vaccine to their citizens to prevent new waves and the spread of the virus.
Developments in Israel are among factors that showed the importance of the third dose vaccination. With over half of the country's population fully vaccinated, quarantine rules have been softened. However, after the first Delta strain case, which was first detected in July, the number of infected during the month reached 4,000, and later – 10,000 people.
All this shows that regular vaccination is the only way to protect against COVID-19 (before a fully effective remedy is found). The increase in the number of infected people at this rate prompted the Israeli government to take active steps. As a result of vaccination with the 3rd (booster) dose of the drug, the situation is currently under control.
From July through August 2021, a study was conducted in Israel, which covered over 1.1 million people. The results showed that the booster dose reduces the risk of infection by 11.4 times and prevents the likelihood of severe disease by more than 10 times.
On the other hand, studies have shown that the effect of COVID-19 vaccines decreases over time. According to Pfizer researches, the vaccine effectiveness lowers 6-8 months after taking the second dose, and it becomes necessary to take a third (booster) dose to increase immunity to the disease, which increases the body's resistance to COVID-19 by three-five times compared to the second dose.
The booster dose of the vaccine is aimed at reactivating the immune response and thus increasing the effectiveness of the vaccine.
UK officials in September of this year recommended vaccinating all vulnerable groups, including healthcare workers and people over 50.
In Germany, the third dose vaccination for elders and people with weakened immune systems began last month. France has also begun offering the third dose vaccination to people over 65, persons with special diseases, and nursing home employees. Canada has also approved third-dose vaccination for individuals with weak immunity.
The US is also among the countries that have started the third booster dose vaccination. Due to the new wave of infection in this country, the third dose of the vaccine from September 22 is offered to people over 65, as well as those at risk and with a high probability of contracting COVID-19.
Moreover, the third booster dose vaccination has started in Turkey, China, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Hungary, Russia, Spain, and Switzerland.
Presently, there are enough vaccine reserves in Azerbaijan to start vaccination with the third dose. The rise in infections and deaths amid the spread of new waves of infection also indicates that the country needs to take more serious actions against the global pandemic.
Third dose vaccination in the country is recommended for all health care workers who were injected with two vaccine doses, people over 60 years of age, and people with weakened immune systems. All vaccines approved in Azerbaijan can be used as the third dose.
Currently, four types of vaccines against COVID-19 - Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and Sputnik V are used in the country.