COVID-19 Pre-booster Vaccination Health Assessment

In order to reinforce the protection against COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccine booster regime is introduced in Hong Kong, to further enhance the efficacy of the vaccines. Meanwhile, health condition is the major concern for certain people, whether taking the COVID-19 booster shot is an eligible option. COVID-19 Pre-booster Vaccination Health Assessment has been launched, which incorporates the examination of cardiovascular disease risk factors, aiming to relieve any anxiety or doubt towards myocarditis, particularly for the elderly and high-risk groups. The assessment also includes two COVID-19 antibody tests, for tracking the antibody level after the booster dose, which also allows people to have a much more comprehensive preparation for the third dose.
Product Code: Covid-19 Pre-booster vaccination
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What is COVID-19 Pre-booster Vaccination Health Assessment different from health checks related to COVID-19 vaccination from others?

In general, COVID 19 Pre-booster Vaccination Health Assessment caters for whoever received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines and whenever a booster dose is required. The pre-booster health assessmentwith the antibody test can be used to detect the antibody level after the original vaccination, and provide detailed medical reports about the health status, hence they could determine whether to take the 3rd dose. The main differences among us and others will be concluded as below:

  • Included 2 times of COVID-19 Antibody Test
  • Included scanning of cardiovascular disease risk factors (C-Reactive Protein (High Sensitivity))

Why would the scanning of cardiovascular disease risk factors and 2 times of COVID-19 Antibody Test be included in the COVID-19 Pre-booster Vaccination Health Assessment?

In general, certain numbers of the public are aware of the adverse reactions or health issues after booster dose vaccination, particularly towards myocarditis. Per the Centre for Health Protection, it is claimed that a booster dose of BioNTech is highly recommended by experts which may elicit a much better immune response, while it is also respected and possible to take a third dose of Sinovac depending on the health status of each individual. COVID-19 Pre-booster Vaccination Health Assessment is, therefore, including the evaluation of C-Reactive Protein (high sensitivity), allowing the clients to understand if there could be any risk for potential cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, with the 2 times of COVID-19 Antibody Tests, it is easier to track the level of antibodies, in which they could identify the necessity to receive the booster dose. Then, the second test could further justify the antibody level on the 14th – 28th day after the booster vaccination, whether it is adequate to protect against the epidemic.

Ten most common FAQs about COVID-19 Pre-booster Vaccination

  1.  Who is considered to be eligible and prioritized for taking the booster dose?

In accordance with the Centre for Health Protection, it is claimed by the experts that immunocompromised patients and persons with a higher risk of infection shall be classified as priority groups for receiving a third dose, which include:

a) Particular groups of immunocompromised patients (for instance, cancer patients, organ transplant recipients, advanced-stage HIV patients and patients taking active immunosuppressive drugs).

b) Individuals with a higher risk of infection who have already received two doses of Sinovac vaccine, including elderly aged 60 or above; healthcare workers; individuals with chronic illnesses; and workers at high risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission due to occupational setting (i.e. personnel engaging in anti-epidemic related work; personnel involving cross-boundary transportation or working at control points and ports).

Regarding group a) and b), a third dose of BioNTech is recommended by the experts for a better immune response. However, personal preference should also be taken into account and any type of vaccine shall be chosen according to their own circumstances. It is suggested that they should consult their physician if necessary.

  1. What is the minimum interval in between the 2nd dose and the 3rd dose?

It is recommended by the experts that the interval in between the second and third dose should be at least 180 days, i.e. the booster shot should be administered 6 months from the second dose. For the particular groups of immunocompromised patients, it is advised to take the third dose at least 28 days (approximately 4 weeks) from the second dose.

  1. What are the things to be kept in mind towards mixing vaccines?

The minimum interval in between the 2nd dose and the 3rd dose is 6 months and shall be complied with to guarantee an appropriate vaccination to be done. Regarding the “mix and match COVID vaccines”, experts declare that a 4th dose may be required 6 months later if the Sinovac vaccine is being taken as booster dose. On the other hand, the antibody level could be better maintained if BioNTech vaccine is chosen, with its efficacy to be lasting slightly longer. In this case, a 4th dose may not be needed to be considered.

After all, it is personal preference for picking whichever vaccine available, and it is better to consult the physician before making the final decision.

  1. How can you be prepared for the booster dose?

First, it is recommended to complete the first antibody test, in order to have a comprehensive understanding about the antibody level after the administrations of 2 doses, and then it is easier to acknowledge the exigency of receiving booster dose. Then, going through a health check could help depicting the health status, which could be used to determine if taking the booster shot is an appropriate decision.

  1. What are the procedures for the third dose vaccination?

With regard to the Centre of Health Protection, immunocompromised patients should receive the booster dose at least four weeks from the second dose, they should bring along with them a medical certificate, illustrating the date of second dose vaccination. For immunocompromised persons aged under 18, they are required to also bring along a consent form signed by their parents. They must be accompanied by their parents to the Community Vaccination Centres on the day of vaccination.

For persons with a higher risk of infection, elderly aged 60 or above can show their Hong Kong identification document for verification. Healthcare workers and workers at high-risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission due to occupational setting can provide their work certifications, or make a declaration stating that they work in the relevant industries.  For patients with chronic illnesses, they should consult their physician on the appropriate time to receive the third dose, and relevant documentary proof is not necessary.

For any individual who has taken two doses of Sinovac vaccine and fall outside the aforementioned groups, if they need to take the third dose with priority for personal reasons, such as they need to travel to areas with high risks of infection in the foreseeable future, they may bring along their air tickets to the Community Vaccination Centres.  Their requests will be handled on a discretionary basis.

  1. How long will it take for antibody formation after vaccination?

It is suggested to complete 3 doses of vaccination for the optimal protection against COVID-19 viruses, but it takes time for the antibody production. In general, it is advised to wait for 14 days before proceeding to antibody test after the booster dose. The result may not be accurate if the interval is not enough.

  1. What are the benefits for undertaking antibody tests? How is it different from the antigen tests?

a) COVID-19 Antibody Test (Blood Samples): Through antibody tests, the level of antibody could be identified whereas the efficacy of the vaccine, whether it is adequate to protect an individual against COVID-19. Antibody tests are performed by collecting blood samples, with a purpose to signify the level of antibody, and the report to be accomplished for at least 2 working days.

b) COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test (Nasal Swab Samples): COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test is significantly different from antibody test, as it is used to discern the possibilities of contracting COVID-19. Antigen tests can be used to clarify the probabilities of COVID-19 cases through samples collected.

  1. What are the other necessary tests to be done after COVID-19 Pre-booster Vaccination Health Assessment?

Additional tests like (i)COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 Anti-Spike Protein Antibody Test (Quantitative) and (ii) COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 Anti-Spike Protein IgG & IgM Antibody Test are encouraged to be done regularly, and both of them are available at MediFast Hong Kong. Vaccination is considered as preventive measures with no absolute protection guaranteed, thus It is suggested to perform the tests on a regular basis to ensure sufficient protection from vaccination. On the other hand, (iii) COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test (available on E-Shop of MediFast Hong Kong) would also be a possible diagnostic testing for COVID-19.

  1. Who are considered to be eligible for COVID-19 Pre-booster Vaccination Health Assessment?

COVID-19 Pre-booster Vaccination Health Assessment is serving for any individuals who have received 2 doses of vaccination and are classified as priority group for taking the booster dose, and yet to perform any health checks previously. The health assessment could illustrate a full picture of health status, revealing if there are any possibilities for potential diseases or undiscovered problems, which could also be taken into account prior to take the booster shot.

  1. Is booster dose effective in protection against COVID-19 variants?

Antibody production will be started once booster dose is received, which enables the immune system to react quickly when there is any sign of COVID-19 virus invasion, and therefore to protect the recipient from being infected. There is no standard level of antibody to be defined as effective and protective, but in general the higher the antibody level, the better the protection could be yielded, particularly towards COVID-19 variants. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, it is necessary to keep wearing masks properly and applying hand sanitisers every day, even for those who had received vaccinations.