By INS Contributors

SHAH ALAM,Malaysia--A booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine will aid boost a waning immune response and induces a significant increase in neutralising antibodies against highly infectious Wuhan and other variants, and the same COVID-19 vaccine booster shot is highly recommended based on the evidence from boosting studies in adult and elderly population.

In a virtual webinar organised today by Pharmaniaga Berhad entitled “COVID-19 Booster Shots and Vaccination for Children: Moving forward with experiences from China, Chile and Indonesia held today, the panellist experts nodded that taking booster shots will substantially increase antibodies which have started to decline by six months after the second-dose, according to the studies.

Senior Director of Oversea Business, Sinovac Biotech Co Ltd from China Weining Meng said a booster shot given at an interval of six to 12 months after the second dose led to a strong boost in immune response, with geometric mean titers (GMTs) increasing to approximately 140.

According to research conducted at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Peking University, and Sinovac Biotech, their data also indicated a third dose would allow vaccine protection to last longer and better persistence.

Meng said the timing of a booster dose should be taken into account based on existing COVID-19 infection in the country and breakthrough COVID-19 cases after primary vaccination.

"The GMT of 6 months after the third dose is higher than the peak of the second dose.

"In addition, the studies also showed higher persistence of antibody 6 months after the booster dose compared to the second dose, indicating a longer duration of protection from COVID-19 protection and new variants," said Meng.

To date, Sinovac Biotech Co. Ltd. has supplied more than 2 billion doses of CoronaVac to the world.

Over 810 million doses were delivered to countries outside China by 12 Oct. 12, 2021, while more than 1.2 billion doses were used in China.

Professor and Director of Immunology and Immunotherapy Millennium Institute from Chile, Dr Alexis M. Kalergis noted that most vaccines received in the Chilean population are mostly from Sinovac.

“In Chile, the regulator has approved the use of CoronaVac vaccine starting from 6 years, and older children and this vaccine campaign is moving smoothly so far due to better safety profile in the paediatric population,” he said.

Dr Alexis said the Sinovac vaccine had been proved to be safe and effective in the Chilean population.

He noted that booster shots are safe and provide significant enhancement of neutralising antibodies in healthy adults.

“The effectiveness of the booster shots is expected to be high for the Sinovac vaccine.

Chilean health fertility is more comfortable using the Sinovac vaccine as it is made using an inactivated virus platform that has been extensively used in the past, such as polio vaccine.

“No doubt other vaccines are effective as well, but the main reason why we decided to work with inactivated vaccines – Sinovac, is because the data shows it is more comprehensive in terms of an immune response,” he said.

Besides Meng and Dr Alexis, other speakers in the webinar were Dr Ajit Pal Singh, Head of Biologic/Vaccine Specialist of Pharmaniaga Berhad, Dr Badarulhisam Abdul Rahman, Head of Research and Development of Pharmaniaga Berhad and Dr M. Rahman Roestan, Operational Director of PT Bio Farma as well as the Vice-Chairman OIC – VMG from Indonesia.

Pharmaniaga is the leading pharmaceutical Company of Boustead Holdings Berhad group of companies, and together with Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera, are the major shareholders of the Company.