Judging by the rapid increase in Covid-19 cases, Mzansi will soon enter the fifth wave. That is why vaccination against Covid-19 remains our best defence, especially if your immune system is compromised, says Garden Route Wellness coordinator, Lindiwe Mguzulwa.
Mguzulwa suffers from multiple chronic conditions including, diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma.
“When I had the opportunity to get the Covid-19 vaccine and the booster dose, I did so immediately because I know that I have a greater risk of becoming severely ill,” she says.
“The road is not always easy, but I know that my health is my responsibility. I’ve learnt that managing my chronic conditions is not only the responsibility of my healthcare team. I must also do my part by going for regular check-ups, following a healthy lifestyle, and protecting myself by getting the Covid-19 vaccine and booster doses.”
Who are most at risk?
According to Dr David Porter from Penn Medicine, when someone is considered immuno-compromised your immune system’s defences are low, affecting its ability to fight off infections and diseases.
“Depending on why your immune system is compromised, this state can be either permanent or temporary,” Porter explains.
According to the Western Cape department of health, some people with immune-compromised conditions require additional doses of the vaccine.
The following are associated with a weakened immune system, so the additional dose of Covid vaccine is strongly advised to top up your immunity ahead of the fifth wave:
- HIV infection with a CD4 count of less than 200 in the last 6 months
- Blood or immune system cancers
- Moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency disorders
- You have had your spleen removed
- You take high-dose steroids or biologics
- You are receiving dialysis
- You are a transplant recipient (solid organ or bone marrow)
The war continues
Experts are expecting a fifth wave this winter and says that it’s impossible to predict how severe it will be. Vaccination and natural immunity are protective, says Dr Gineile Mopp, Covid-19 ICU George Hospital. “As with any war we want to overcome, we need well trained and equipped defence forces,” says Mopp.
“Covid-19 will not go away anytime soon, so to eventually defeat it we must eradicate it. The same as with polio, same as with TB – we must continuously work against these viruses. Our main aim remains to ensure we have as many people as possible vaccinated and get them boosted with additional doses.”
Mopp adds that booster vaccines increases our level of immunity, making us more resistant to contracting and transmitting the coronavirus. “If you are due for your booster, please get it,” Mopp says.
Mopp shares these tips to keep healthy and prevent further Covid-19 transmission:
- Ensure your Covid vaccines are up to date
- Ventilate indoor spaces
- Wear a mask when indoors and in crowded spaces
- Get a flu vaccine, it is that time of the year
- Know what to do when you have flu-like symptoms
So protect yourself and your loved ones this winter, and get your Covid vaccine.