New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: United States (US) president Joe Biden on Tuesday got a booster shot of the Pfizer anti-COVID-19 vaccine. After getting his third vaccine dose, Biden said that his wife Jill would also get a booster shot soon.

"Boosters are important, but the most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated," Biden said while noting that about 23 per cent of the US citizens are yet to receive a shot.

The development comes days after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine for people above the age of 65, adults at high risk and those who are exposed to the infection.

The FDA said that the decision was taken after an expert panel suggested for the same. "Today's action demonstrates that science and the currently available data continue to guide the FDA's decision-making for COVID-19 vaccines during this pandemic," it had said.

The US is not the first country where a booster shot has been allowed. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has not recommended a booster shot yet. Here's all you need to know:

What is a booster shot?

In medical terminology, a booster shot is an additional administration of a vaccine after an earlier dose. It is given to increase the immune response against the virus. Typically, you would get a booster shot after the immunity from the initial dose(s) naturally starts to wane. The booster is designed to help people maintain their level of immunity for longer.

WHO's statement on booster shot

WHO is currently reviewing the emerging evidence on the need for and timing of an additional vaccine dose (booster dose 1) for the currently available COVID-19 vaccines which have received Emergency Use Listing (EUL). Since there are different factors that influence the need for a booster shot and their assessment is under-process, WHO is of the view that the administration of booster doses will exacerbate inequities by driving up demand and consuming scarce supply while priority populations in some countries have not yet received a primary vaccination series. WHO suggests the focus, for the time being, should remain on increasing global vaccination coverage with the primary series.

Countries where booster shots are allowed

  • The Czech Republic- beginning September 20
  • Germany and France for older people and those with underlying health conditions.
  • Israel for vaccinated people as young as 12.
  • The United States for elderly and high-risk adults.

What is India's take?

In India also experts have recommended more research should be done on the need for booster shots. Earlier, immunologist Satyajit Rath, while speaking to news agency PTI, had said that the country's priority must be to vaccinate more people with at least one jab. He said it is ethically premature to begin planning the third dose to a fortunate category of people at this stage.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha