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Many studies have confirmed that the cell immunity developed after the vaccination or recovery is more persistent than the level of antibodies. The older the person, the weaker the cell immunity after the vaccination, hence it's really important for elderly to have their booster doses, explained the professor of molecular biology, and the member of The Scientific Board, Pärt Peterson.

“Based on the current opinions, the cell immunity is the main way to prevent hospitalizations. If the cell immunity is good and effective, people don't fall severely ill, and no hospitalization is needed. Looks like the cell immunity is more effective against different variants than antibodies,” said Peterson. Also, multiple long-term studies have proved that the cell immunity can last 6-8 months.

Peterson admitted that there's another side – cell immunity doesn't develop as fast as antibodies, and it also depends on the age and other illnesses a person might have. “The older the person, the weaker the cell immunity. And that might be a clear reason, why elderly fall ill more severely.”

Therefore, more attention should be paid towards protecting elderly because it can be expected that their cell immunity is not as strong as younger people have. Also, the cell immunity doesn't develop in people receiving immunosuppressive treatment, and haematology patients in oncology.

Dr Mait Altmets agreed that risk groups should be paid more attention to, and they should have their booster doses in case they haven't received it yet.

Everything you should know about the COVID-19 vaccination

Vaccination is free of charge for all people living in Estonia, even without the national health insurance.
  • Vaccination is voluntary.
  • Vaccination is open to all people who are at least 5 years old.
  • Compared to COVID-19 illness, vaccination is safe, and generally, the side effects pass quickly.
  • Booster doses are available only for adults, and the time for a booster jab is 2 months after finishing the vaccination course with the Janssen vaccine, and 3 months after finishing the vaccination course with AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
  • Booster doses for people, who are recovered from COVID-19 are recommended 6 months after their recovery or their last vaccination.
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