Further announcements are expected today administration of a booster dose covid-19 vaccine in high-risk populations for infection.
The National Vaccination Committee has positively announced a third dose for immunosuppressed people, for whom the appointment platform opened on September 14, for people living in Elderly Care Units, for people over 60 years of age and for health professionals.
The announcements will be made during the established briefing on the National Vaccination Coverage Plan against covid-19, by the forerunner of the National Vaccination Committee, Maria Theodoridou and the Secretary General of the WHO, Mario Themistokleous.
The administration of the 3rd dose except for the immunosuppressed, which can be given up to 4 weeks after the completion of the basic vaccination is six to eight months after the second dose. The third dose of the vaccine will be mRNA vaccine for people who have received two doses of basic vaccine mRNA, two doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Speaking to ANT1, Mr. Themistokleous said that the third installment it will not be mandatory but there will be a recommendationHe added that about 10,000 appointments have already been made by people belonging to the group of immunosuppressants.
Vana Papaevangelou, member of the National Vaccination Committee and the committee of experts of the Ministry of Health for covid-19, explains to APE-MPE the rationale of the operation for the third dose in a high-risk population for all.
“Scientists distinguish the third dose in immunocompromised and the elderly – over 80 – where the third dose does not appear to be a booster vaccine, but an increase in immunity, because it did not respond well to the first dose due to immunosuppression and age.”
The need to receive a third dose of vaccine also arises for men over 60, as according to scientific data the intensity of immune responses is also affected by age. “We have announced, adds Ms. Papaevangelou, that 60-year-old men will also need a third dose of vaccine, because various laboratory studies and epidemiological data show that the older one is, the longer one has passed the second dose. “- at least 6 months- the greater the chances of him catching the virus”, but clarifying that the chances are small for him to become seriously ill and die.
There is a different approach to health professionals, says Ms. Papaevangelou to APE-MPE, emphasizing that a new separate category. They are the ones with a historical exposure to the virus. Maintaining the effectiveness of the vaccine to prevent infections in healthcare professionals is designed to transmit the virus to the laboratory and family environment, but also to prevent the weakening of the health system that may occur if a large number of healthcare workers become ill.
Asked by APE-MPE about the extension of the third dose to the general population, Ms. Papaevangelou said that there is still skepticism.
Commenting on the WHO position on the non-widespread administration of a booster dose to healthy people who are fully vaccinated, in order for poor countries to proceed with immunization, Ms. Papaevangelou states that the WHO is right to vaccinate populations in low-income countries “because from there which will result in mutations, which may reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine in us “.
The professor, however, emphasizes that those who have passed the vaccination semester, where according to studies the protection for infection is reduced must be protected and adds that there is benefit to the community as the spread of the virus, R0, decreases.
At the same time, he emphasizes the need to comply with the protection measures, but also the effectiveness of the vaccination that occurred in the first profile of the pandemic, so as always referred to the greater burden of informing people who do not yet have the vaccine, it is estimated that there is room to be convinced. He emphasizes that “the spread will be more effective if we persuade the unvaccinated to be vaccinated. The unvaccinated person is 10 times more likely to get sick in contrast to the vaccinated who 7 months have passed since his vaccination “.