The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech can be used as a booster shot for healthy adults and people with weakened immune systems, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) decided on Monday.
The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) evaluated data for Pfizer's vaccine, showing a rise in antibody levels when a booster dose is given approximately six months after the second dose in people from 18 to 55 years old.
Based on this data, the Committee concluded that booster doses may be considered at least six months after the second dose for people aged 18 years and older.
‼️ EMA conclusion: 3rd doses of #COVID19vaccines Comirnaty & Spikevax may be given to people with severely weakened immune systems, at least 28 days after their 2nd dose.
— EU Medicines Agency (@EMA_News) October 4, 2021
People with severely weakened immune systems will benefit from a third shot earlier and may already receive it at least 28 days after their second dose.
Additionally, EMA is currently only allowing a third shot of the Moderna vaccine for those with weakened immune systems, and is still investigating whether there is enough data to allow this vaccine to be used as a 'booster' for the healthy population.
This decision means that Pfizer's vaccine can now be used to give the general public a booster dose, if deemed necessary by the government. Member State governments will have to look at this.
In Belgium, it was decided earlier that residents of care centres, people with a weakened immune system and all people over 65 can receive an extra vaccine dose.
So far, about 150,000 people have already received a third dose.