As the Medical Council at the premiere, we decided to recommend the administration of a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to seniors, people with chronic diseases and medical staff – said Dr. Konstanty Szułdrzyński, a member of the Council. He added that the recommendation applies to all vaccines available in Poland.
– A lot of research confirms the fact of a significant decrease in the level of immunity after a period of about 8-9 months after taking the second dose vaccines against COVID-19. That is why we have made a decision to allow people who are particularly vulnerable to infection, i.e. medics, to take the third dose – said Dr. Szułdrzyński in an interview with the Polish Press Agency.
– In addition, we want to give this right to people over 60 years of age and younger people who suffer from comorbidities who, due to their age, have a weaker immune system response, and are also particularly vulnerable in the event of infection to the severe course of COVID-19 – he added.
The recommendation applies to all vaccines available in Poland.
Covid passports will expire?
The expert recalled that with many other diseases in the past it was also necessary to administer so-called booster doses. – Often the third dose was over and the acquired immunity was already stable. Will it be like that this time? Further research will be necessary – added Szyłdrzyński. That said, testing for antibody levels is the cheapest and simplest way to test your immunity level, but it’s not ideal.
– It may be that the level of antibodies drops, and yet the immunity is “stored in cellular memory”. To put it simply: the body does not produce antibodies when it is not in contact with the virus, but when exposed to it, it responds and fights virus he said.
When asked if the so-called will expire after the recommendation of the Medical Council covid passportsthat a person received after taking the full course of vaccination, he denied.
– Most likely, if someone decides to take the third dose, the validity of his passport will be extended by one year. So far, the current passports have not become obsolete, although they have a limited validity from the beginning (…) We should also remember that both medical staff and seniors were the first to adopt vaccinations as priority groups. Therefore, giving them a third dose of the vaccine – again first in order – is also justified by the fact that the longest time has passed since they were vaccinated, he added.
The third dose for people with low immunity
On September 1, the Ministry of Health informed that, taking into account the recommendations of the Medical Council, it is possible to administer an additional dose of vaccination for people with immunodeficiency not earlier than 28 days after the completion of the full vaccination schedule.
Seven groups of people were mentioned. This:
1. Receiving active anti-cancer therapy 2. After organ transplants receiving immunosuppressants or biological therapies 3. After stem cell transplant within the last 2 years 4. With moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency syndromes (e.g. DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome ) 5. With advanced or untreated HIV infection 6. Currently treated with high doses of corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress the immune response 7. Chronic dialysis for renal failure
“People over 18 years of age should use mRNA vaccines (Comirnaty Pfizer-BioNTech or Spikevax Moderna), and children aged 12-17 years should use the vaccine Comirnaty Pfizer-BioNTech” – indicated the ministry.
Vaccinations against COVID-19 in Poland
Polish patients receive a COVID-19 vaccine from one of the four companies. Only adults are vaccinated with AstraZeneca and Jannsen (Johnson & Johnson) preparations. In addition to adults, children and adolescents aged 12-18 are vaccinated with the preparations of Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna. Jannsen is a single dose vaccine. The others require a repeat dose.
By Thursday, 36,841,191 doses of various COVID-19 vaccines had been administered. 19,581,730 vaccinations were performed with the first dose. 19,167,754 people are fully vaccinated – vaccinated with a single dose of Johnson & Johnson or two doses of AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / ETIENNE LAURENT