The need for COVID-19 booster shots
Problem at hand
While Pakistan was one of the countries which were internationally appreciated for tackling the outbreak of the virus very well, the recent surge in COVID-19 cases has raised concerns among doctors. It is feared that hospitals will soon have to operate above their capacities to accommodate the increasing number of cases. It was advised by the Minister of National Health Services (NHS) at the NCOC meeting in Islamabad to administer booster doses in all the provinces and regions on a top priority basis to decline the rate of COVID-19 transmission.
What is the booster shot?
It is the dose of the vaccine received after the primary vaccination dose to maintain unassailable protection from coronavirus. Various types of vaccines now have boosters that are given to adults as well as children and pregnant women, which can help them protect their infants. The booster dose for COVID-19 should be received six months after the primary vaccine is received.
Why should I get booster shots?
- COVID-19 booster shot significantly enhances your immunity that could have been reduced after your primary vaccination dose.
- A concrete safety from COVID-19 can only be ensured when you get all the recommended boosters.
- You can get the booster dose suitable according to your level of immunity from moderately to severely immunocompromised.
Am I eligible for the booster dose?
- All individuals aged 12 years and older are advised to get one booster shot.
- Adults who are 50 years of age and above are recommended to get two booster shots.
- Additional booster shot is also offered for juveniles with weak immunity.
Are there any side effects?
There are no side effects; however, you may experience some symptoms, which merely means that your immune system reacts to the dose and develops protection against the virus. The symptoms may include temporary flu, chills, swollen lymph nodes, fever, minor body aches, headaches, or tiredness lasting for one to two days. It is essential to understand that these symptoms do not mean you are sick but it is your body developing immunity.
What is the difference between a COVID-19 booster shot and an “Additional Dose”?
A COVID-19 booster is given once the individual’s body receives the primary vaccine series, and the protection built against the virus has weakened with time. It, however, depends upon the original series one had, so the type of booster required varies.
An additional dose is given to people with weak immune systems who are:
- Being treated for a cancer
- Have had an organ transplant or cell transplant within the last two years o On medicinal drugs that deteriorate the immunity
- Diagnosed with HIV o Have a high viral load o On drugs with high-dose steroids
These extra doses enhance their immunity to the same level as that of a healthy individual. Children aged 6 months to 4 years usually require an extra dose, which primarily depends upon which vaccine was received. You may refer to your health care provider to refer you to the type of additional dose that your body may require.
Where can I get my COVID-19 booster shot?
To get your COVID-19 booster shot in Lahore, you may visit the following centers:
- Railway Dispensary (Walton Road)
- LDA Complex (Minar e Pakistan, Main Road)
- Pakistan Kidney Institute (DHA Phase 7)
- Lahore Medical and Dental College (Lahore Medical Housing Scheme)
- Central Park Medical Dental College (Central Park Housing Scheme)
- United Christian Hospital (Main boulevard Gulberg)
- Indus Hospital (Main GT Road)
- Fauji Foundation (Bedian Road)
- Ghaziabad Hospital (Kamharpura, Ghaziabad)
- PU Quaid e Azam New Complex (Canal Road)
- University of Engineering and Technology (GT Road, Bhagbanpura)
- University of Lahore Teaching Hospital (Bhubtian Chowk)
- Cairns Railway Hospital (Ghari Shahu)
- Government Hospital (Sodiwal Road)
- Railway Hospital (Shah Jehan Road)
- National Hospital (DHA Phase 1)
- Government Mian Mir Hospital (Mian Mir Data Darbar Road)
- Data Darbar
- Government Samnabad Hospital (Shadman Main Boulevard)
- Pilot School (Wahdat Road of block Iqbal Town)
- Wapda Hospital (Ferozpur Road)
- Istefaq Hospital (H block Model Town)
- Government Sawami Nigrai Hospital (Sowami Nigr Road, Tehzab Ihatah Sowami Nigr)
Written by: Laiba Bilal – Marketing Intern
Edited by: Aamina Sajid – General Secretary Shalamar Literary Society, SMDC