Third dose Covid vaccine? This is why the experts are concerned

Third dose Covid vaccine? This is why the experts are concerned
Third dose Covid vaccine? This is why the experts are concerned

There is the problem of variants and the uncertainty about the duration of immunity.

The special commissioner for the Covid emergency, the general Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, said that in view of the possible need to administer one third dose of Covid vaccine, Italy has optioned, in agreement with the European Union, “such a quantity of vaccines to cover the entire population with a further dose and also with a robust reserve”. In particular, we are thinking of starting with one third dose of Pfizer vaccine for those over 60 and the frail by January 2022.

Hypotheses have already been made on how to proceed with this possible third dose, i.e. moving from hubs to hospitals and to general practitioners’ studies, pharmacies and company vaccination points. The real problem, however, is whether the third dose is really necessary and there are some risks in undergoing a third inoculation. In fact, many experts are still skeptical because they believe that there are still not enough elements to understand if you can proceed to a third dose or not.

Regions are ready to administer the third dose –

Meanwhile, the Regions are ready. The region Market he even wants to start administering the third dose at the end of September and would be the one intended for the recall of those who have been vaccinated from the end of December 2020-beginning of January 2021, therefore the health personnel. However, the regional councilor for health Filippo Saltamartini stressed that it will proceed only if there are no indications to the contrary by the health authorities or by Aifa, the Italian drug agency.

The reason why you would like to proceed with the third dose as early as September is that so far there have been indications of one duration of vaccination coverage of 6-9 months, so, in this case, rightly so, those who got vaccinated in January to September should already undergo a new booster. But there are still many doubts and conflicting opinions within the scientific community.

The President of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region and of the Conference of Regions Massimiliano Fedriga he said that “the regions are equipped to make hundreds of thousands of vaccines a day” and therefore are also ready for the possible third dose, however they are “waiting to understand when the third dose will be needed and if it will be needed”. Fedriga also stressed that this would totally change the organizational model and that if vaccination were to become ordinary, then the organization would also have to become ordinary and thus overcome vaccination hubs. But he also said that now they are still waiting for indications as to why there are no certainties from a scientific point of view and therefore you cannot start organizing something that then risks not being useful.

What are the risks of a third dose of Covid vaccine? –

There are therefore still too many doubts as to whether to undergo the third dose of Covid vaccine it might involve some risk and on this issue there is a lot of division among the experts. For example, according to the virologist Francesco Broccolo of the Bicocca University of Milan we cannot do “as many calls as we want” because these could lead to side effects due to an over-stressed immune response. In fact, Broccolo underlines how “the doctors who were vaccinated first at the beginning of the year with two doses and who had Covid, had of the most important side effects“.

The Bicocca virologist also believes that those who have had Covid should be vaccinated no earlier than six months, which is also the reason why a serological test before the vaccine could be useful. According to Broccoli, moreover, more than a third dose, one should worry about modify the vaccine based on the variants, because in the summer people will move and it is much easier for the vaccine to recombine and mutate.

SarsCov2 virus now endemic, vaccines needed for variants –

Massimo Ciccozzi, epidemiologist at the Rome Biomedical Campus, is among those who think that, since vaccine immunity appears to last 6-8 months, the third dose will be needed and it will have to be done and every year you will have to vaccinate yourself at regular intervals of time, like you do for the flu. Ciccozzi points out that the SarsCov2 virus is becoming endemic for mutations. However, he too touches on the topic of variants and in particular he says that they can affect the effectiveness of the vaccine and therefore the question is whether the doses we have now should be used for a third booster or if it is better use them to vaccinate migrants coming fromAfrica, which is a lot of endemic variants.

Nicola Magrini, director of Aifa, Italian Medicines Agency, a Radio24 he explained that “we will probably have to vaccinate ourselves against Covid every year if the variants cause concern” and therefore according to him, after passing the emergency phase of the pandemic with mass vaccination, a new phase will begin which will see theuse not of a third dose of vaccine, but of annual booster doses to maintain immunity. He also added that “second generation vaccines are being developed for next winter that will be able to cover these variants with a simple booster”, so the interest is not in the idea of ​​a third dose, but in further active vaccines against variants for maximum protection. And this concern for variants seems to unite the entire scientific community.

Meanwhile, the commissioner Francesco Figliuolo in recent days he participated in a meeting with the Ministry of Health and Civil Protection to talk about how to organize and manage the new phase also in light of the variants that continue to mutate the virus and that may move during the summer. The role of the National Institute of Health which will start a project of variant tracking and sequencing, which has such a scientific value that it can continue to study how SarsCov2 continues to circulate and evolve.

June 11, 2021 (change June 11, 2021 | 11:09)

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