Faith in boosters shots restored after more studies on Covid-19 vaccines

Harboring initial doubts, many spent much time doing their homework about Covid-19 booster shots before getting their jabs.


Faster booster: People lining up to get their Covid-19 booster shots at the PPV in Aeon Taman Maluri Shopping Centre in Kuala Lumpur. — ART CHEN / The Star

February 9, 2022

KLANG – They had their initial doubts, so they spent much time doing their homework about Covid-19 booster shots.

And in the end, they knew that their health was a priority.

“All I want is some sort of protection from getting infected so that I can go about living life without too many restrictions.

“So, I went for it,’’ said travel agent Irene Low, 56.

When Low received a notification to go for a booster dose that was different from her primary doses, she quickly read up on the vaccine’s “compatibility”.

And what she found out was enough to convince her to go for it.

Given that the main reason for multiple vaccination shots is to protect against Covid-19, she weighed the pros and cons, and went ahead with the booster jab.

When contacted, Universiti Putra Malaysia consultant clinical microbiologist and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences dean Prof Dr Zamberi Sekawi said that mixing vaccines was the way to go.

“Current research has indicated that giving a different booster vaccine, known as heterologous boosting, has better efficacy and provides better protection against Covid-19,’’ he said.

Dr Zamberi explained that all the vaccines that are currently available are different in their “characteristics” and work in different ways to protect recipients from Covid-19 infection.

“When you receive heterologous boosting, you get two different platforms of protection, and this teaches your body to better recognise and counter the virus.

“It means that your body will now know of two different methods of boosting your immune system,’’ he added.

A study published in The Lancet journal on the United Kingdom’s Covid-19 booster trials stated that people who received vaccine boosters that differed from their initial vaccines recorded higher levels of immunity.

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