2021-10-04 19:41:39 Pfizer Booster Can Be Given After 6 Months, European Drug Agency Says
Pfizer Booster Can Be Given After 6 Months, European Drug Agency Says
The European Medicines Agency, the European Union’s main drug regulator, announced on Monday that healthy adults can receive a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine at least six months after the second dose.
The data showed that antibody levels increased in adults aged 18 to 55 with normal immune systems who received a third dose of the vaccine, according to the agency. It is still evaluating Moderna vaccine booster shots.
The FDA also stated that those with “severely weakened” immune systems can receive a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines as soon as 28 days after the first dose. An additional shot is expected to “increase protection in at least some of the patients,” according to the agency. The recommendation is based on research indicating that an additional dose of those vaccines may improve organ transplant recipients’ ability to produce antibodies.
Vaccination campaigns are the responsibility of national governments in the European Union, and each of the 27 member countries can decide whether to provide booster shots to all adult residents. Last month, France, Germany, and Belgium began giving extra doses to the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, while the Czech Republic and Hungary made this option available to all adults.
Despite the fact that the European Union has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with over 73 percent of adults fully immunized, no coronavirus vaccine for children has been approved. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control warned last week that if governments relax Covid-19 restrictions, the average level of vaccination across the EU will not be enough to stop the virus from spreading.
The FDA stated that it is closely monitoring “very rare” side effects of a booster shot, such as inflammatory heart conditions, but that the risk is not yet known.
Wealthier countries’ decisions to administer booster shots while the rest of the world remains largely unvaccinated has alarmed health experts. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization’s director general, called for a moratorium on coronavirus vaccine booster shots for people who are not immunocompromised until the end of September in early August.