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Third dose of coronavirus vaccine. Professor Andrzej Fal comments on the decision of the European Medicines Agency

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Professor Andrzej Fal from the Polish Society of Public Health commented on TVN24 on Tuesday on the decision of the European Medicines Agency regarding an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for people with reduced immunity. “This decision was expected,” he said. Vaccinating everyone with a third dose is not necessary at the moment, he said, and rich countries should consider helping with vaccination in countries that cannot afford to fight the COVID-19 epidemic. He noted that there, in the future, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus could mutate and attack us all again.

The Committee on Medicines for People of the European Medicines Agency confirmedthat an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer or Moderna companies increases the ability to produce antibodies against coronavirus in immunocompromised people.

A booster dose may be given at least 28 days after the second dose.


Fal on the third dose of vaccine

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Professor Andrzej Fal from the Polish Society of Public Health said on TVN24 that “this is the decision that was expected”. He added that “such recommendations had already been issued in Poland and other countries”. – This decision was expected that people with primary and secondary immunodeficiency, in short: transplant recipients, dialysis people, people with immunosuppression for any other reason, either congenital or with immunodeficient syndromes – yes, they will get and must get ( third dose of the vaccine – ed.). Many of them after the second dose did not generate proper protection or very short-term protection. Therefore, the administration of the next dose is the only remedy here, or the only attempt, also probably not effective for everyone, but necessary to be taken to generate this immunity in them – he explained.

– However, when it comes to the indications for vaccination of other groups with the third dose, we know that it should be considered whether vaccination of the professional group of medics or other people who have a large direct contact with potentially infected is considered. Collectively, it is certainly justified, but for today we have virtually no indications, no scientific evidence that vaccination of the entire population with the third dose is necessary today, at the moment. Probably in the future, yes, but it seems to me that no one today can determine this future – said Fal.

He noted that there are currently no studies on how long immunity lasts after one full vaccination. – SARS-CoV-2 will probably stay with us forever as such an infection more tame, which we will treat like the flu, vaccinate over time. Whether it will be seasonal, whether it will be every year or every two years, time will tell, but for now this is not the case. For now, we are in the middle of a pandemic and for the time being we are vaccinating those most in need, he stressed.

– A pandemic is, in principle, a global event, therefore, when thinking about global security, let us think about whether, from this point of view, it is more important to vaccinate with the third dose of ever younger ones in wealthy countries, including Poland, or to vaccinate with at least basic vaccination the entire world population, because there are countries where this vaccination is at the level of several percent, because they simply cannot afford these vaccines – said the TVN24 guest.

He recalled that “these countries, these unvaccinated people, can become a reservoir of the virus that will withdraw and come back in mutant form or in the form of new variants.” – I also think that here the European, American, global decision should take into account also those populations in the world that have not been vaccinated at all when considering subsequent vaccinations – he added.

Fal about vaccinations in Poland

Professor Fal also commented on the level of vaccination of Polish society. It was served by Tuesday 37 666 261 doses of different COVID-19 vaccines. The first dose was taken 19 885 124 vaccinations. It is fully vaccinated 19 540 515 people – vaccinated with a single dose of Johnson & Johnson or two doses of AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines.

– The number of vaccinated persons is either “as much as” 19 million, or “only”, because it means that over 40 percent of Poles are unvaccinated, which at the beginning of the fourth wave shows that this wave may probably affect these people or in these regions, where these people are particularly large, have a much more severe course, much greater consequences than in regions or places where vaccinated people prevail. This is not a guess. We see it in other countries, it is proven by scientific research and it results from our European experience – assessed Fal.

He announced that “we are one of the last places in Europe in terms of the number of vaccinated people and the absolute last place in Europe when it comes to the number of people vaccinated, that is, those who have found out and are now vaccinated”. – Expecting significant increases in the number of vaccinated persons in Poland in the near future is not based on any premises yet – he added.

– I hope that, after all, those who did not get vaccinated are not just those who are firmly anti-vaccine. There are a few percent of these. However, it is still worth talking, convincing, encouraging the remaining 30 percent, because these are people who hesitate for various reasons and they are the goal of our conversation, our promotion of knowledge and our conviction that it is worth, and even very much worth it – he said .

Main photo source: TVN24

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