According to the recommendations of the Medical Council, the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is indicated for all vaccinated adults. According to one of the members of the Council, professor Robert Flisiak, one more vaccination would strengthen the “flood embankment”, which is the acquired immunity to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection. Similar vaccination schedules are used for other infections, including hepatitis B.
The Medical Council released on Tuesday recommendation regarding the administration of the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to vaccinated adults. Its administration would take place not earlier than six months after taking the two basic doses of the preparation.
– A booster dose of vaccines is like repairing and raising a dike against flooding. However, it erodes over time, lowers and, as a primary protection, weakens over time. Although it may protect us from flooding for a while, it does not protect us against high water. But even then, it will be a better security than not having any – commented prof. Robert Flisiak, president of the Polish Society of Epidemiologists and Doctors of Infectious Diseases, as well as a member of the Medical Council.
Similar pattern for other vaccines
Flisiak said that taking the third dose of the vaccine may be very important in the case of accelerating, the fourth wave of coronavirus infections.
“ Similarly, basic vaccination helps to avoid severe disease, but with massive exposure to viruses, it may not protect us from infection, so a booster dose is needed, ” he added.
The expert noted that it is not unusual to use more doses of the vaccine.
– Standard management of HBV vaccination is three doses given on schedule zero, one, six months. There are many indications that vaccination against COVID-19 requires a similar regimen, he said.
At the same time, the expert noted that clinical studies and observations show that by the sixth month after taking the basic dose, the level of antibodies is sufficient, but shows a clear tendency to decrease. However, he admitted that it may be insufficient in some people. Therefore, it is necessary to stimulate the immune system with a booster dose of the vaccine.
In some, immunity has already weakened
Prof. Flisiak also noticed that at the moment, patients who received the basic vaccination at the beginning of this year are starting to appear.
– However, these infections are usually mild, symptomatic. You can see the effect of the “embankment”. Basic vaccination protects against massive flooding, but not against slight flooding – he emphasized.
According to the expert, it seems that in the case of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the administration of a booster dose after a period of nine months to a year in the elderly and with diseases that increase the risk of a severe course of COVID-19, may be too late. Therefore, at the premiere, the Medical Council initially recommended a booster dose for adults after six months.
– If we abandon the booster dose, our level of protection will protect us with average exposure to infection, but if we encounter a person exhaling viruses in large amounts on our way, such immunity may not be sufficient – he warned.
In addition, the expert explained that it is too early to say whether this booster will be the last and whether more will be needed. He also noted that the increase in antibody concentration after a booster dose is many times higher than after primary vaccination, which means a chance for longer maintenance of the protective level of antibodies. However, this requires further observation.
Vaccination for COVID-19 and the flu
Prof. Flisiak also emphasized that vaccination protects us against the severe and fatal course of the disease, but does not protect us against infection.
– It certainly protects us from a higher viral load, but it cannot be said that it is 100% protection. It protects against death and the necessity of hospitalization. It certainly causes the virus not to have good living conditions in the body of the vaccinated person. In such a case, if it becomes infected, there is much less virus in the patient’s respiratory tract and it is a weaker source of spreading the disease, which limits the spread of the epidemic – he emphasized.
In addition, the expert assured that, according to the current recommendations, the COVID-19 vaccine, and therefore also a booster dose, can be taken with the flu vaccine.
– There are no contraindications for simultaneous vaccination, because these are not live vaccines. Therefore, if there are conditions that allow it or a situation that forces it, then there is nothing to prevent you from doing so. There is no reason to believe that one vaccine will reduce the effect of the other, he explained. – After all, we are exposed to many pathogens that circulate around us all our lives and we do not get sick because we are immune to them. They also stimulate our immune system at the same time – he added.
Main photo source: Shutterstock