A new revitalizing vaccine against Covid-19 is now recommended People and staff over the age of 50 those who work in the front line of health services. But why is the fourth dose needed when the first booster was applied in late 2021?
To R7Juarez Cunha, President of the SBIm (Brazilian Immunization Association), clarifies this and other questions.
Why was the fourth dose recommended?
The specialist explained that this was seen in the immunization campaign against Covid-19 the decline in vaccine protection is declining Within four to five months of applying the full regimen — two doses for Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and CoronoVac vaccines and one dose of Janssen — or a booster dose.
“It simply came to our notice then that there was a need to strengthen protection, especially with regard to the expected decline in vaccine protection and the emergence of variants that did not respond as intended with initial use. immunizations, ”says Cunha.
In addition, according to a technical note issued by the Ministry of Health, the protection caused by the aging of the immune system in the elderly is reduced, which requires different strategies to ensure the protection of this group. more vulnerable to disease-induced infection.SARS-CoV-2.
Is a booster dose against Covid-19 always necessary?
Despite current recommendations, the SBIm president has stated that he still does not know how long it will last booster shot it will be necessary or how the vaccine against Covid will be implemented National Vaccination Calendar.
“A lot of people are wondering if it will be the same [vacina] the flu, but we still don’t know. We don’t know if we should use vaccines with different performance. So there is a possibility for the future, but it could also be the same with the flu: change the composition of the vaccine for these particular variants that are happening. But we still don’t have those answers, “said Cunha.
There may also be an update on the vaccines that are being applied, the specialist said.
“Everything will depend on how the variants play out from now on, but there is also hope. second-generation vaccines This will strengthen the response and protect us from these possible mutations for a longer period of time and for various options, ”he explained.
Will the fourth dose be extended to the general population?
On the world stage of the Covid-19 vaccine, there is still no recommendation to apply a second booster to the general population, according to the specialist.
“It remains to be seen how epidemiology will evolve, as these decisions are based on what the numbers show and what we have in the medical literature, whether it is worth it or not. There is room for improvement with the fourth dose, but the improvement is especially for the most vulnerable. So it remains to be seen whether it will be applied to other age groups and other groups, ”says Cunha.
Does booster doses cause more harmful effects?
According to Cunha, the harmful reactions caused by vaccines vary from person to person. But in general, that’s what we see in practice the booster shot did not cause or intensify new reactions.
I have flu-like symptoms, can I take a booster dose?
If a test confirms that the symptoms are Covid-19, the person will have to wait at least four weeks to be vaccinated; if the situation worsens, the wait may be up to three months, according to the specialist.
In the case of flu-like symptoms caused by other respiratory viruses, such as the flu, it is recommended to wait until the clinical improvement of the condition.
Why can’t I get vaccinated if I have Covid-19?
When Sars-CoV-2 infects a person, the immune system begins to produce antibodies to fight the infection. In this regard, Cunha explained that the application of the vaccine can interfere with the body’s natural response.
It is worth noting, however, that previously the virus infection does not rule out the need for vaccination.
“The data we have is that the people who were vaccinated and then vaccinated are the ones who have the best protection. Being ill does not mean that people do not need to be vaccinated, because it also happens to those who have escaped these variants. [a infecção]. It may have been protected by a type of variant, not necessarily [os anticorpos] it will protect another, ”said the specialist.
Can I get a flu shot with a booster dose?
At the beginning of the vaccination campaign against Sars-Cov-2, it was not recommended to apply the vaccines together, but last year the orientation changed and it is possible to receive Covid-19 and the flu vaccine on the same day.
“When we started using Covid vaccines, the recommendation was to take this two-week break. With time and experience, it was seen that one vaccine did not interfere with the other’s response, nor did the adverse events, which were the biggest concern,” says Cunha.
The rule, however, is maintained for children between the ages of 5 and 11, who must meet the 14-day interval between vaccinations.
I’m over 50 and I haven’t taken the third dose, can I take the fourth?
For those who have not received the first booster vaccine, it is recommended to make this request and receive a fourth dose after four months.
For those who did not complete the initial course — with two doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or CoronaVac vaccine, or one of Janssen’s vaccines — it is important to regularize the vaccine.
“There are a lot of people who haven’t finished the first regime or haven’t taken the first booster. [É importante] encourage these people to get vaccinated, complete the scheme, as all the data show that Covid has increased a lot [nas últimas semanas] and that most of the deaths and hospitalizations are from people who have not been vaccinated or do not have a full regimen. We are already absolutely sure of that Vaccines prevent serious forms and prevent deathCunha emphasized.
Who got the fourth dose of the Janssen vaccine?
Since Janssen’s vaccination schedule is a single dose, the second enhancer of this vaccine is the third application. Therefore, for people over 50 who have received the immunizer and health professionals, a second booster is also allowed.
What vaccine will be given for the fourth dose?
The recommendation of the Ministry of Health is to apply the fourth dose with the vaccine of Pfizer, Janssen or AstraZeneca.
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