We are at present on the eve, or in the early stages, of the Omicron coronavirus surge, so I think a lot more emphasis should be placed on promoting the booster shot than is currently being done. I also suggest that the period between receiving the second shot and receiving the booster be reduced to five months, as the CDC has recommended.

It is vital at this moment to emphasise to those who are already fully vaccinated that booster shots provide greatly increased protection against both the Delta and, even more so, the Omicron variant. The booster programme is key to providing maximum defence of our healthcare system.

I would go so far as to recommend the Prime Minister himself make a short national address focusing on the importance of boosters to everyone, and especially to those over 60 and those with several comorbidities. This is what Boris Johnson did in launching the UK booster campaign, and it has worked very well.

The Health Ministry has consistently followed WHO guidelines during this pandemic, but may I suggest that at this moment it would be better to deviate from this and to follow the CDC’s recommendation that boosters be given to recipients of the two-dose vaccines five months after the second dose, rather than six? By letting residents take the booster one month earlier, the ministry will, according to the statistics posted on its website, allow up to 106,000 people immediate access to the booster shot, rather than spreading this over the next month.

In addition, another 200,000 people would become eligible over the course of the month. This would make a big difference in our response to Omicron, and would outweigh the small loss of booster efficacy that would come from starting one month earlier.

The impending Omicron tsunami of infection demands a much more urgent national mobilisation.


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