The European Medicines Agency (EMA) assured Efe this Wednesday that, “at this stage, it has not yet been determined when a booster dose might be necessary” of the covid-19 vaccines, nor “in which populations there would be to focus”, in case “confirmed the need”.
A source from the agency stressed that “the emerging data (of the vaccination campaigns underway within and outside the European Union) are still being reviewed to make recommendations that can help” European countries to make a decision on the “need” of the booster dose in these vaccines and “which populations to target”.
“The EMA is aware that the several EU Member States are considering the possibility of administering booster doses to certain populations. Decisions on how vaccines should be administered remains the prerogative of the expert bodies that guide the vaccination campaigns in each country”, insisted a spokeswoman.
In addition, they pointed out that decisions during vaccination in this pandemic take into account “factors such as local conditions, the spread of the virus (including any variant of interest), the availability of vaccines and the capacity of the national health system” of each country.
The EMA is collaborating with vaccine developers
The agency warns that “in case booster doses are needed”, something that has yet to be determined and that depends both on the data shared by the pharmaceutical companies and on the monitoring of vaccination campaigns, its experts will analyze the available information, when it is sufficient to make a decision, and they will communicate their conclusions, although they did not set any date to announce a decision.
“Efficacy data in the real world from Europe and other parts of the world are of particular interest to complement the data from clinical trials investigating booster doses,” adds the EMA, which is investigating this issue together with the European Center for Prevention and Disease Control (ECDC) and national advisory groups.
Although its investigation into the third dose is still ongoing, the EMA stresses that it is also “collaborating with vaccine developers to ensure that regulatory steps that allow for the possibility of using a booster dose can be carried out as soon as possible if necessary”.
Experts in charge of the Zoe Covid investigation in the United Kingdom assured this Wednesday that the protection against covid-19 infections in people who are fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca and Pfizer preparations begins to decrease within about six months to up to 67 and 74% respectively.
In addition, they noted that, in the worst case, the protection provided by these vaccines against the virus could begin to decline to below 50% in the elderly and health workers for the winter.