Oxford University Professor Sarah Gilbert, the leading scientist behind the creation of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, said that it is unnecessary for most people to get the vaccine boosters at the moment because immunity from the first two doses is “lasting well.”
In an interview with The Telegraph on Friday, Sept. 10, Gilbert acknowledged a third COVID-19 shot could be needed in the elderly or those who are immune-compromised but said the first two-dose regimen is providing lasting protection in most cases.
“We will look at each situation; the immuno-compromised and elderly will receive boosters,″ she said. “But I don’t think we need to boost everybody. Immunity is lasting well in the majority of people.”
The professor explained that the first COVID-19 dose was the most crucial for immunity.
Gilbert made her comment as the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization. Britain’s medical regulator is expected to make recommendations on the scale of any booster program in the coming days, after giving the thumbs up on Thursday for Pfizer and AstraZeneca to be used in any future booster programs.
The U.K. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that he expects a booster program to start later this month.
In the interview, which the Associated Press reported, Gilbert said the world’s priority should be to get more vaccines to countries that have received limited supplies.
“We need to get vaccines to countries where few of the population have been vaccinated so far. We have to do better in this regard. The first dose has the most impact,” she said.