Thursday, September 16

The uneven map of the third dose

The United Kingdom reduces the age to receive this additional puncture to 50 years, Spain limits it to the group of immunosuppressed and Turkey already administers the fourth injection


The European Commission has preferred to abstain from the debate, claiming that the decision corresponds to the Member States, which it encourages, of course, to follow “scientific evidence and in line with the recommendations of the European Medicines Agency (EMA)”, that he does not see it necessary, at the moment, for the general population. Neither did the US FDA or the WHO scientists.

And it is that when establishing the target population of this booster dose there is no consensus either. While some states limit it to vulnerable groups, others extend it to the entire population, despite the fact that there is no scientific evidence that it is necessary to reinforce the immunity of healthy people already vaccinated. This is the map that the booster dose draws:


The group of immunosuppressed patients, more than 150,000 people, are already receiving the third dose of Pfizer or Moderna. That is, people who have received an organ transplant, hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients, who will have to wait at least 28 days from the previous dose; patients under treatment with anti-CD20 drugs (rituximab, ocrelizumab and ofatumumab, among others), six months after the end of therapy; and patients with leukemia, lymphomas or multiple melanomas. Precisely today, the communities will ask Health for a third dose in nursing homes.


It already offered a third prick from Sinovac or Pfizer to those over 60 and health personnel, and since July 1, those immunized with the Chinese vaccine can request a fourth dose, 21 days after receiving the third. The Government recommends the fourth dose of Pfizer to those who want to travel abroad (so that they can prove complete regimen) and to health workers vaccinated with two doses of Sinovac and one of Pfizer.


On July 12, Pfizer booster vaccines began to be administered to the immunosuppressed population, and as of July 30 also to those over 60 years of age. Israel already contemplates putting a fourth dose to combat new variants.

United Kingdom

Starting next week, some 32 million Britons over 50 will be able to get a third shot of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Until now, the target groups for this new dose were those over 70 years of age and first-line health personnel. The third dose should not be given earlier than six months after the second.


The first booster injections of messenger RNA vaccines will begin to be administered this month, although the state of Bavaria already offers, since August, the possibility of doing it to people who live in nursing homes, require third-party care or are immunosuppressed, provided that last six months or more.

Austria and Czech Republic

In both cases, in October the booster dose with messenger RNA vaccines will begin to be administered to nursing home residents, older than 60 years and other risk groups who received the second injection nine months ago.


Emmanuel Macron announced last August the administration of a booster dose for the “oldest and most fragile” people from September


It began yesterday with the booster dose to the most vulnerable population – organ transplants, cancer treatment or immunosuppressed or autoimmune diseases – which is expected to be extended soon to people over 60 years of age.


Faced with the advance of the delta variant, the Russian health authorities launched in July a booster vaccination campaign for all those who were already immunized more than six months ago with the national vaccines Sputnik V and Sputnik Light.

USA and Canada

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna, but only for immunosuppressed people. Canada is also preparing to administer the third dose to people with compromised immune systems.

United Arab Emirates and Bahrain

Six months after the second dose of the Chinese Sinopharm, the population will be able to access a third dose of this same vaccine. The same in Bahrain, although only vulnerable people, including those over 50 and first responders, who have received the previous six months before.


The eastern giant also gave the green light to booster doses of its vaccines for people at risk, including workers in health care and quarantine facilities, patients with weak immune systems, aviation and customs workers and those over 60.

Latin America

In countries such as the Dominican Republic, Chile and Uruguay, the third dose is approved to strengthen the immune system of the most vulnerable population and health personnel.

The Spanish Medicines Agency sees annual immunization as very unlikely

The director of the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS), the Galician Maria Jesus Lamas, considers “very unlikely” a periodic and annual immunization against COVID-19 as with the flu. In a colloquium at the II Symposium of the Health Observatory, Lamas explained that SARS-CoV-2 is a less variable virus than influenza, so it is not expected that there are mutations so important that there is a loss of dramatic effectiveness in existing vaccines. He clarified, however, that there may be population groups with a small loss of efficacy of the vaccine due to their risk factors that may have to be revaccinated. Regarding the new strains, he considered that it will be necessary to be vigilant but added that “not all the strains that will emerge will imply a loss of effectiveness of the vaccine.”

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