The European Medicines Agency (EMA) believes that anyone over 18 can receive a third dose, six months after full vaccination with Pfizer.
They write that in one press release.
They open to give a third dose because they see an increase in antibody levels with a third dose when it gets half a year after the second dose, in data from the age group 18-55 years.
The conclusion from the EMA is that a «booster» dose can be assessed no earlier than six months after the second dose, for everyone from 18 years and up.
A third dose given as a booster dose should maintain the effect of the vaccine in people who have already had the effect of it.
EMA is further officially in favor of using a third dose for immunosuppressed patients now, something several countries – including Norway – have already started with. For these patients, the third dose is not considered a booster, but part of the basic vaccination.
– The EMA’s approval will be emphasized
It is a national authority that decides how to use a package. In Norway, it is the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) that assesses who should receive a “booster” dose and not, and the government that ultimately decides.
When asked by VG about what the green light from EMA means for Norway, FHI refers to the Minister of Health Bent Høie (H) and FHI’s vaccine manager Geir Bukholm announced a press conference on the corona situation on Tuesday.
State Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Care Services, Saliba Andreas Korkunc, writes in an email to VG that EMA’s approval will be important.
– The need for a refresher dose is under consideration and the EMA’s approval will be emphasized. The government will come back to this later, writes Korkunc.
Also kills Moderna as a «booster dose»
Several countries, including Sweden, Denmark and the USA, have a third vaccine dose for the elderly, but Norway has not done so yet. FHI has previously told VG that they will wait for EU approval of Pfizer as a booster vaccine before making a decision.
In Norway, 168 fully vaccinated people have so far become so ill that they have to be admitted, according to FHI’s latest weekly report.
FHI is closely monitoring this particular increase, and has previously said that it is an important marker for whether they will use a third dose for the elderly.
All changes to the central approval of medicines and vaccines as recommended in the EMA must officially go through the EU Commission before they are adopted.
The EMA is still working on data for the use of Moderna as a booster vaccine for those with normal immune systems, but it is recommended that those with weakened immune systems.