Secretary of Health says that the application must be made with vaccines from different manufacturers; need for the third dose is still under study
The Municipal Health Department of Rio de Janeiro included the application of a third dose of the vaccine against Covid-19 in the elderly in the new vaccination schedule, presented this Friday, 16. The new schedule states that the booster dose for people over 80 years of age will start in October 2021. Municipal Health Secretary Daniel Soranz explained, however, the inclusion only serves to provide predictability for citizens, since the need for a third application has not yet been confirmed by studies. “It’s a pandemic, the information always needs to be adjusted throughout the process. But it is important that society as a whole knows, and this is the mayor’s intention, that this is part of our planning and our internal discussions”, justified the secretary.
“We are forecasting here and organizing our logistics, but we have some factors, such as assessing how the protection levels of people who took the vaccine six months ago will be, which is more or less what happens in October with this group of 80 years or more. Second point: what will be the recommendation of the National Immunization Program at the time? This is a discussion that already takes place,” said Soranz. “Unfortunately, right now we have a problem at the Ministry of Health, because the coordination of the PNI has just been changed, so there is still a difficulty in making progress in these discussions. But they need to be placed,” he added. According to Soranz, currently, the paste is considering the possibility of a third dose just for the elderly. In addition, the secretary said that the municipal government is studying the application of a different manufacturer’s vaccine from the immunizing agent used in the first and second doses.
“Another discussion that is fundamental, and that the city of Rio is already taking a stand, is about heterologous vaccines, from different manufacturers. It is very important to start discussing this. Most of the scientific evidence states that heterologous vaccines have superior protective effects. So, we need to put this on the agenda, especially in the National Immunization Plan”, defended Soranz. “Very likely, this booster will be done with a heterologous vaccine, different from the one the elderly person took, because that is how this discussion is taking place. Not that it can’t happen with the same vaccine as the first doses. This is still under discussion of effectiveness”, he concluded.