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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Booster vaccines may be needed to counter new Covid-19 variants

Booster vaccines may be needed to shore up the protection offered against Covid-19 due to the threat posed by new variants of the virus, public health officials have warned.

Concern is growing over more transmissible variants that have emerged in South Africa and Brazil but officials say more variants are likely to be identified over time.

“We may not necessarily need to go to annual vaccinations,” said Dr Cillian de Gascun, director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory. “But it’s quite possible we will need to boost our immunity over the coming years as the virus continues to evolve.”

The “good news” was that the vaccines already developed could be updated “in a fairly short period of time”, Dr de Gascun told a National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) briefing on Monday.

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