The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has urged giving a fourth dose of Pfizer or Moderna to people with severely weakened immune systems, explaining that it is considered a “first reinforcement”.
The head of Vaccination Strategy, Marco Cavaleryexplained that for people with a severely compromised immune system who have already received a three-dose primary schedule of an mRNA vaccine “a fourth dose would be your first booster dose, which is already recommended” by the EMA.
“We will review all emerging data, including from Israel, regarding the second booster dose of available vaccines. At the moment, however, the evidence from both clinical trials and the real world is insufficient to support a recommendation for the general population.”, he added.
How effective the current vaccines will be will be determined over time and as the effect of the omicron wave of infections is analyzed, which will help determine the need and timing of any additional booster doses in the future.
He also noted that “it’s still too early” to find out to what extent the new variant BA.2 “differs” of ómicron in terms of transmission and evasion of immunity, “knowing that it is still a closely related strain” with that variant.
Cavaleri stressed that vaccines “remain the most important cornerstone” of the response to the pandemic and explained that different studies based on real-world data “have shown that vaccination, and especially boosters, play an important role in preventing serious illness after infection with omicron”.
The information available shows that people who have received the third dose “show a high degree of protection against serious illness and hospitalization”, so the EMA It calls on European citizens to complete their full guideline and those who have already done so to receive the booster dose when it is their turn.
The EMA is already evaluating an application submitted by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer Y BioNTech to extend the first booster dose to 16- and 17-year-olds and a similar request is expected for 12- and 15-year-olds, but the agency has yet to review the data accompanying the request before recommending this third dose for minors .
Ricardo is a renowned author and journalist, known for his exceptional writing on top-news stories. He currently works as a writer at the 247 News Agency, where he is known for his ability to deliver breaking news and insightful analysis on the most pressing issues of the day.