ECDC and EMA highlight considerations for extra and booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Based on current evidence, there’s no urgent need for the administration of booster doses of vaccines to completely vaccinated individuals within the general population, consistent with a technical report issued by the ecu Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The report also notes that additional doses should already be considered for people with severely weakened immune systems as a part of their primary vaccination.
Evidence on vaccine effectiveness and duration of protection shows that each one vaccines authorised within the EU/EEA are currently highly protective against COVID-19-related hospitalisation, severe disease and death, while about one out of three adults within the EU/EEA over 18 years remains currently not fully vaccinated. during this situation, the priority now should be to vaccinate all those eligible individuals who haven’t yet completed their recommended vaccination course. to enrich vaccination efforts, it’s also crucial to continue applying measures like physical distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene, and using face masks where needed, especially in high-risk settings like long-term care facilities or hospital wards with patients in danger of severe COVID-19.

It is important to differentiate between booster doses for people with normal immune systems and extra doses for those with weakened immune systems. Some studies report that a further vaccine dose can improve the immune reaction in immunocompromised individuals, like transplant recipients whose initial responses to vaccination were low. In such cases, the choice of administering a further dose should be considered already now. Consideration could even be given to providing a further dose, as a precautionary measure, to older frail individuals, especially those living in closed settings like residents of long-term care facilities.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is currently assessing data on additional doses and can consider whether updates to the merchandise information are appropriate. EMA also will be assessing data on booster doses.

While EMA assesses relevant data, Member States may consider preparatory plans for administering boosters and extra doses.

Advice on how vaccinations should tend remains the prerogative of the national immunisation technical advisory groups (NITAGs) guiding the vaccination campaigns in each EU Member State. These bodies are best placed to require under consideration the local conditions, including the spread of the virus (especially any variants of concern), the supply of vaccines and therefore the capacities of national health systems.

The ECDC will update its technical report as ECDC and EMA still work together to gather and assess data that are getting available on boosters and extra doses. Close monitoring of vaccine effectiveness data and breakthrough infections, particularly among vulnerable groups in danger of severe COVID-19 and among those living in closed settings, should be continued. within the meantime, Member States got to steel oneself against possible adaptations to their vaccination programmes should a considerable decrease in vaccine effectiveness be noted in one or more population groups.

The technical report issued by the ecu Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC):
Interim public health considerations for the supply of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses
This document aims to supply the audience with interim public health considerations for the supply of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses. the foremost recent evidence regarding vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic and asymptomatic infection thanks to the circulating variants and regarding duration of immunity are going to be briefly summarised.Interim public health considerations for the supply of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses. Considerations round the implementation of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses also will be discussed. This document doesn’t aim to supply recommendations about the administration of additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines but summarises the present evidence and descriptions options for consideration by public health authorities.

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