London: While the government and top health bodies across the globe have been saying that vaccination is the only way to tackle COVID-19, people are still confused and remain apprehensive about getting vaccination due to widespread misconceptions.
One such misconception is about taking the full dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, top medical experts have cautioned that taking a single dose of the COVID vaccine can protect them from getting coronavirus infection but that may not be as effective as taking the full dose.
And in the wake of the emergence of worrisome coronavirus mutations such as the delta variant that was first identified in India, the health experts recommend getting fully vaccinated.
The COVID-19 vaccines rolling out globally were developed to target the original version of the virus detected in late 2019. While they seem to work against newer versions, there's a concern the shots eventually might lose their effectiveness if variants evolve enough.
With the delta variant, a study conducted by British researchers found people were well protected when they got both doses of either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. But with only one dose, protection was significantly reduced.
To stem the spread of the delta variant in the United Kingdom, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently delayed the lifting of remaining restrictions to get more people the full two doses.
Health officials are also concerned about the dozens of countries that still don't have enough supply secured to distribute second doses within the recommended time frame.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said vaccinations with only one dose won't be enough to stop outbreaks fuelled by new variants and that people should maintain social distancing and other measures until more of the population is fully vaccinated.
The second dose of a two-dose vaccine is critical because it's what ‘really gives a boost' to the immune system so that the antibody response is very strong,” says Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO's chief scientist.
In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Health Ministry and its affiliated bodies have been urging the Indians to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour and getting vaccinated as early as possible in order to contain the COVID-19 virus from spreading further.