Third dose, in Italy there could be a problem with Moderna

Third dose, in Italy there could be a problem with Moderna
Third dose, in Italy there could be a problem with Moderna

ROME – The campaign for the third dose of the anti-Covid vaccine is proceeding at full speed in Italy. But a small problem could be on the horizon: Moderna’s refusal for the “booster” dose in those who received Pfizer-BioNTech’s preparation for the first and second.

Pfizer the most used – Not that there is a big difference between the two products: both are mRNA vaccines and no abysmal differences have emerged, in the prevention of severe cases of Covid-19. Yet the Italian media report a preference of the subjects to be vaccinated for the Pfizer-BioNTech preparation, perhaps to have continuity with the previous administrations. This, according to data from the commissioner that manages the vaccination campaign updated to Tuesday evening, is the most used serum throughout Italy with 74 million doses, compared to Moderna’s 17.7. Just under 100 million doses administered (94.6% of those delivered, or 105 million) of all vaccines, including those set aside by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

Waste and stocks – But Pfizer’s stocks are now in short supply, so much so that Lombardy is currently resorting to Moderna. Vaccine refusal episodes have been reported in Lazio, Lombardy and Sicily, but the trend would have been observed throughout the national territory. This could be a problem, given that more than half of the current stocks (5.6 million) are from Moderna. A supply of Pfizer is on the way, assuring the health authorities, but for the moment the campaign must continue with the vaccines available.

Europe advises the heterologous – We remind you that the European health institutions have given the green light to the heterologous booster, that is with a different vaccine than the previous administrations. Both for the European Medicines Agency (Ema) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Ecdc) explain that, in particular, receiving an mRNA vaccine after administrations with viral vector ones (AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson) “produces good levels of antibodies against the Covid-19 virus and a higher T cell response than using the same vaccine.” No problem even for a “booster” with mRNA vaccine, as in the case of Moderna.

Will anyone wait for the “update”? – A further problem could have arisen after Pfizer-BioNTech’s announcement today: the first batches of the “updated” version of the vaccine on the Omicron variant will be put into circulation “in March 2022”. The “diehards” could therefore be tempted to wait a few more months, even if in the meantime the percentage of antibodies in their blood would drop further.

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