Countries around the world have begun administering COVID-19 vaccines to their citizens as part of measures to defeat the deadly novel virus.
There are various vaccines that are on the market at the moment with the majority of them being double dose.
For example, Sinopharm which is currently being administered in Zimbabwe is a double dose. Those inoculated are supposed to return for the second jab after 28 days.
This has raised questions as to what should one do if they miss the second dose.
Speaking to Science 5, World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said it is important to take the second dose because it is what boosts the immune system.
She said it doesn’t matter even if you delay to take the dose by days or weeks you still need to take it.
“There are many vaccines and each is being given at different dosing schedules. Most vaccines being developed need at least two-doses but there are some single-dose vaccines candidates as well.
“Interval between doses depends on which vaccine you are getting and your government would have a guideline and will inform you about when the second dose is due.
“Most of the two-dose-vaccines currently are being given between three to four weeks between the first and the second dose. But there is some data from some vaccine like the Astrazeneca where delaying the second dose up to 12 weeks gives a better immune boost.
“Now in terms of missing the second dose or being delayed it’s important to get the second dose if the vaccine is a two-dose schedule. It doesn’t matter if it’s early by few days or late by few days or even a couple of weeks, its important to go back and get that second dose.
“Because the first dose presents this new antigen to the immune system to prime it. And the second one is the one that gives a boost to the immune system so that the antibody responds and also develops a memory response which then lasts for a long time so that when the body sees this antigen again this virus protein again knows that it needs to react quickly,” she said. Get more Covid-19 Stats from CovidZW.info #WhereAreOurVaccinesZW #OpenCovidContracts
What should I do if I miss my second vaccine dose?