This health tip was made possible with the support of Moderna, without any right of review on the content.
Are you vaccinated against COVID-19 and wondering about the necessity for an additional dose? Here's some information on the subject.
Why an extra dose of the vaccine?
The fight against COVID-19 is one that everyone wants to win as soon as possible! Fortunately, humanity can count on a major weapon against this virus: vaccination. If you have already received your doses of vaccine, you have made a great contribution to this collective war effort!
Vaccines prepare our immune system to fight the virus once it is exposed to it. Antibodies are our most valuable line of defense. They develop after vaccination or exposure to a pathogen, such as COVID-19. Antibodies are responsible for detecting and destroying these agents that attack our body.
On the other hand, the coronavirus has an important advantage: genetic mutation. Viruses are living organisms that, like humans, seek to reproduce to ensure their survival and advancement. Unlike us, viruses do not need a sexual partner to multiply; instead, they use replication. During this process, they have the ability to mutate, that is, to change their genetic information. Unfortunately, this fascinating phenomenon of biodiversity can sometimes give us a hard time, as in the case of the coronavirus!
In order for mutation to occur, a virus must first infect a human cell. Each time it infects a new person, this gives it the opportunity to mutate. As more people become infected, the virus has a better chance of changing and adapting.
Over time, the number of antibodies our body has can decrease, and with it our immunity to the virus. This is especially true when the virus changes and new variants appear. That's why some vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, need to be repeated after a period of time with additional doses to reactivate our immune system and produce more antibodies. These doses improve protection against the serious consequences of COVID-19 and may also reduce the risk of post-COVID-19 syndrome.
Who should receive an extra dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?
To protect against the virus and its variants, public health issues vaccination recommendations based on the epidemiological picture. It is important to keep your vaccination up to date and to continue to follow the vaccination schedule suggested by the government to ensure maximum protection for the population. Please consult this link to determine if you are eligible for an additional dose.
Since the data is constantly changing, you can consult your pharmacist, who will make sure you follow the current recommendations and suggest the best time to complete your vaccination.
If you have any questions about COVID-19 or vaccination, or any other health-related question, your Jean Coutu affiliated pharmacist is a powerful ally. Don’t hesitate to consult them.