Some countries are expanding injection programs to enhance or shorten the interval between injections as governments work to combat the Omicron variant.
Is a fourth dose of vaccine really necessary?
On March 15, Pfizer and BioNTech asked the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize their fourth dose of vaccine for people 65 years of age and older. Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, believes that people will need a fourth dose of the vaccine to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2.
In order to authorize the fourth shot, the US FDA will look at worrisome signs that vaccine-provided immunity is waning, which could make people more vulnerable to serious effects. importance of COVID-19.
Recent data released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the ability to prevent hospitalization due to COVID-19 degraded even after booster shots of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.
From August 2021 to January 2022, around the time of outbreaks of both the Delta and Omicron variants, the booster shot prevented 91% of hospitalizations for the first 2 months after vaccination, but decreased down to 78% in 4 months after injection.
“We don’t know how likely it is to prevent hospitalization for 6 months, 7 months or 8 months after the third shot. Will 78% drop to 60%, 50% or 40%?”, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.
“For that reason, we need to seriously consider giving a fourth shot to the elderly and those with certain underlying medical conditions,” he said. Mr. Fauci stated.
The CDC recommends a fourth dose of the mRNA vaccine for people with weakened immune systems, including transplant patients and cancer patients.
In recent months, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the use of the main course of the vaccine, rather than the booster, should be prioritized. In addition, WHO also recommends booster shots for people with health problems.
Many countries are expanding injection programs to enhance or shorten the interval between injections as governments work to combat the Omicron variant. Some countries are also launching a fourth dose amid concerns about the vaccine’s ability to protect.
Studies have shown that an initial course of vaccine, which usually includes 2 injections, may not be enough to prevent infection from Omicron, but a booster shot may help.
Countries deploying the fourth dose of vaccine
On January 22, as the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increased, Israel allows the fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine to be administered to healthcare workers, those over 60 years of age, and those working in high-risk environments.
The decision was made based on initial data from Israel’s Ministry of Health and researchers showing that, of the nearly 1 million people over 60 years of age who have been vaccinated, the fourth dose of the vaccine prevents twice the chance of infection. times and 3 times more likely to have severe disease than those who receive 3 doses of the vaccine.
From 8/2, Belgium began sending out offers for a fourth dose of Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to people with compromised immunity.
A notice from the Flanders Department of Health states that the fourth injection is given to those who received the third dose in September 2021. “In the Flanders region, approximately 200,000 people will be offered a fourth dose of the vaccine. For those with weakened immune systems, the third dose is considered the completion of the basic immunization schedule. The fourth dose is considered their booster dose.” Flanders Health Minister Wouter Beke said.
January 10, Chile starting a fourth dose of vaccine in immunocompromised people 12 years of age and older. This is the first country in Latin America to deploy the fourth dose of the vaccine. The vaccination program was extended to the general population in February.
Denmark soon conduct the 4th dose of COVID-19 vaccine for people at high risk of infection. This makes Denmark the first country in Europe to administer a fourth dose of the vaccine to its population.
Specifically, the fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine has been deployed since mid-January for people with serious underlying conditions, and these are people who received the third vaccine in the fall of 2021.
December 2021, Brother consider a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine for the elderly and those at high risk for the disease. The country gives a fourth dose of the vaccine to people over 75 years old, people in nursing homes and immunosuppressed people over 12 years old.
Hungary said it will provide a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to those who have received advice from a doctor. The country also injected a fourth dose to the most vulnerable.
Italy recommended that people with severe immunodeficiency get a fourth dose of the mRNA vaccine against COVID-19, at least 120 days after the third shot.
Sweden has begun offering a fourth shot to people with compromised immune systems and recommends that people over 80 get a second booster shot.
February 14th, South Korea confirmed the deployment of the fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine from the end of February. According to the Director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KDCA) Jeong Eun Kyeong, it is expected that about 500,000 people over 18 years old live or work. aged care centers and another 1.3 million immunocompromised people will be eligible for a fourth dose of the vaccine.
In the year 2021, America Still holds the view that a fourth dose of the vaccine is not necessary, but from February 2022, the US FDA began considering licensing the fourth dose in the fall of this year.
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