Covid vaccines: additional booster dose for most vulnerable

  • Hamid Merchant

Press/Media: Expert Comment


The NHS has offered a double jab for some more vulnerable groups as winter approaches


Covid Vaccines additional boosters for high risk populations


Period18 Aug 2021

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleYorkshire residents invited for third Covid jabs - before booster scheme agreed
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletExaminer
    Media typePrint
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionHuddersfield University pharmaceuticals expert, Dr Hamid Merchant, said boosters were a good idea for some but not everyone.

    Dr Merchant commented: “Millions of people across the world have been infected with this virus and it is highly likely that it is now going to stay with us forever.

    "The mutations are inevitable, and variants will keep emerging over time, we, therefore, need to focus on strategies to live with the virus.

    "Immunocompromised patients are at a greater risk of death or developing a severe Covid – often they also do not respond well to any vaccine, in general. Therefore, in theory, additional boosters in all high-risk populations are meant to protect these vulnerable populations.

    “With novel coronavirus adapting to its new human host, most healthy people will not be at a risk from the virus, however, immunocompromised and the frail elderly will remain at increased risk and should benefit from repeated boosters, such as annual flu immunisation program.

    “However, due to the invasive nature of the genetic vaccines, booster doses may pose additional safety concerns in those with the compromised immune system. Therefore, alternatives such as conventional Covid vaccines, mAbs or antiviral therapeutics must be considered for all high-risk populations.

    A ‘one size fits all approach' is not good for public safety, instead, a more personalised approach to Covid immunisation will increase medication safety and public confidence on vaccine.

    “Vaccines are one of the great discoveries in medicine that has improved life expectancy dramatically. Nevertheless, novel Covid vaccines work on the premise of gene delivery which is a new approach to immunisation and its long-term safety must be assessed if genetic vaccines were to be sustained beyond CoViD-19 pandemic.”
    Producer/AuthorNick Lavigueur
    PersonsHamid Merchant