Third dose at 5 months, vaccine 5-11 years: what Ema says

Agency decisions in a short time

Third dose of vaccine before 6 months indicated. The verdict on the covid vaccine for the age group 5-11. While the fourth wave hits Europe in particular, there are two main decisions that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will take in the near future.

“Academic studies support the ‘mix and match’ strategies in administering the booster dose” of the anti-Covid vaccine, ie boosters made with a product based on a different platform than the primary immunization course. “These studies are also evaluating shorter intervals of 6 months” between the end of the primary cycle and the booster. “We expect to reach a conclusion by the end of November,” says Marco Cavaleri, the agency’s head of Vaccines and Covid-19 Therapeutic Products.

EMA’s “Pfizer vaccine evaluation” for 5-11 year olds is ongoing. A conclusion is possible by the end of next week, “he adds.

At the moment, Cavaleri observes, “hospitalization rates” for Covid “and the number of unvaccinated patients” who end up “in intensive care are on the rise in almost all EU member states. The appeal is to get vaccinated. “and, for those who have already completed the primary immunization cycle,” to receive the booster dose if suitable “that is offered.

“With the presence of the Delta variant” of Sars-CoV-2 “and highly transmissible variants in Europe – he explains – we are observing a considerable increase in cases” of Covid-19. “We are in the midst of what is called the fourth wave” pandemic, he warned, “and we are seeing an excessive number of cases, even serious ones, and hospitalizations, including hospitalization in intensive care, particularly among the unvaccinated”.

“It is essential to continue to vaccinate”, reiterates the expert, with a warning addressed “especially to those Member States with unacceptably low vaccination rates”.