US, SINGAPORE: COVID-19 vaccinations are at a critical juncture as companies test whether new approaches like combination shots or nasal drops can keep up with a mutating coronavirus — even though it’s not clear if changes are needed.
Already there’s public confusion about who should get a second booster now and who can wait. There’s also debate about whether pretty much everyone might need an extra dose in the fall.
“I’m very concerned about booster fatigue” causing a loss of confidence in vaccines that still offer very strong protection against COVID-19’s worst outcomes, said Dr. Beth Bell of the University of Washington, an adviser to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite success in preventing serious illness and death, there’s growing pressure to develop vaccines better at fending off milder infections, too — as well as options to counter scary variants. “We go through a fire drill it seems like every quarter, every three months or so” when another mutant causes frantic tests to determine if the shots are holding, Pfizer Vaccine Chief Kathrin Jansen told a recent meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences. Meanwhile, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the COVID-19 pandemic has taught Singapore valuable lessons “for which we have paid dearly”, lessons that must not go to waste.
Speaking at an event on Sunday to mark 200 years since the establishment of Singapore General Hospital, Lee said Singapore “cannot thoughtlessly revert to the status quo ante” after the pandemic.
“We must make the most of the changes forced on us by the crisis to improve the way we do things,” the prime minister said. – THE HINDUSTSAN TIMES, THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS