A Commission source told EURACTIV that data so far have shown that the third booster dose could offer three times more protection than the previous two doses.
This in practice means that someone who has been vaccinated with three doses could secure COVID immunity for “at least 12 months”, the source said, adding that the choice of a fourth dose is not on the table.
The same source also analyzed how the Commission will approach the pandemic in 2022.
EURACTIV contacted the Commission on the occasion of Greece's decision to provide a fourth dose to immunocompromised patients.
“There is no discussion at European level about a fourth tranche as the protection offered by the third booster is three times stronger than the first two,” the source said.
The same source added that this protection can last at least 12 months.
According to ECDC data, the vaccination rate in Greece remains below the EU average as 66.3% of the total population has been fully vaccinated, while 35.3% have received a booster dose.
However, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Tuesday expressed doubts about giving a fourth dose to the general population, saying that repeated reminders are not a “sustainable” strategy, the French agency said.
This statement contradicts the line of pharmaceuticals.
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said the effectiveness of the booster dose against COVID-19 is likely to diminish over time and some people may need a fourth dose by the fall.
From March stabilization of the pandemic
Several countries, at the initiative of Spain, are promoting a European plan to treat the pandemic as a “simple flu” in 2022.
“We are waging the last battle with the pandemic,” the source said, adding that from March, Omicron's pressures would weaken and that the Delta would almost disappear.
Citing data from EU scientists, the source said that Omicron “lives in the nose” and in the upper respiratory tract, which makes it so contagious. However, it is not able to bind to the lungs like other mutations.
The community source estimated that there would be no need for a special vaccine for Omicron as until it is produced, almost all of us will have contracted it, commonly “immunity will have been acquired”.
The general estimate in Brussels at the moment is that COVID will become a pediatric disease that will mainly affect young children without immunity.
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