With the advancement of the delta variant of the coronavirus, some countries are considering or have started to administer a third dose of vaccine to their population.
The debate over this measure still divides experts. Without a consensus on the topic, each country has adopted different guidelines on the booster dose.
Some, like Israel, are giving vaccines to people over 50; others, like Hungary, have opened up to the general population.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett receives the third dose of vaccine from Pfizer as part of a booster campaign to curb the spread of the Delta variant across the country
There are still those who offer doses only to those who have received a specific vaccine, such as Chile.
In addition, each country has chosen a different period of time for when it will offer the third dose to its citizens – decisions vary between three to eight months after the second dose.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for a global moratorium on third doses of vaccines until September.
WHO argues that it is necessary to prioritize countries that have not yet managed to administer doses to their population, until at least 10% of people are vaccinated in all countries, rather than using the global supply to boost vaccination internally.
“I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the delta variant. But we cannot accept countries that have used most of the global vaccine supply using even more,” said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
See which countries are already or plan to offer booster doses to the population.
Russia announced in early July that it had started giving booster shots to people immunized more than six months ago. This happened amid an increase in Covid-19 cases in the country.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said he had been given a booster and asked city residents to do the same.
Moscow is offering booster shots of Sputnik V, produced in-house. Other regions of the country are also starting to offer third doses.
Since late July, Israel has offered third doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to people over 60 and other vulnerable groups.
Israel’s President Isaac Herzog receives the 3rd dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 on July 30, 2021, at the launch of the campaign to boost immunization in people over 60 — Photo: Maya Alleruzzo/ Pool via AFP
After the start of the campaign, the country also included people over 50 years old.
So far, more than a million Israelis have been reinforced amid a spike in Covid-19 cases in the country.
Israel’s vaccination campaign started as one of the most successful in the world.
Doses are offered to people who have been vaccinated for more than five months.
The first country in Europe to give the booster dose, Hungary has made the third dose since the beginning of August available to anyone who wants it – four months after taking the second dose.
The government recommends a mixture of different types of vaccine, but announced that this decision will be left to doctors. There are several vaccines approved by the Hungarian government.
The Dominican Republic was the first country in Latin America to announce, on June 30, that it would offer a third dose.
The country shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, one of the last countries to start vaccinating its population. The Dominican government is trying to speed up its vaccination program as the neighbor sees cases grow.
According to the country’s health authorities, the third dose applied in the country will be different from the one initially administered, with the idea of mixing vaccines produced by different laboratories.
Last week, it was Chile’s turn to start administering booster doses against Covid-19 to those already immunized with the Chinese Coronavac, which was also administered in Brazil.
The target is citizens aged 55 and over who received the vaccine before March 31, that is, about four months ago. They will receive a new dose of AstraZeneca.
Immunocompromised patients will receive an extra dose from Pfizer.
Uruguay’s Ministry of Health this week began offering third doses to those who received Coronavac.
The booster dose will be from Pfizer, given at least 90 days after the second dose of the initial vaccine.
The United Arab Emirates began offering booster doses in June for those immunized with China’s Sinopharm vaccine.
The country offers vaccines from Pfizer and Sinopharm as a third dose.
They also announced, without specifying dates, that they will offer booster doses for the general population, not necessarily being inoculated with Sinopharm’s vaccine, six months after the second dose for the general population or three months after the second dose for people most vulnerable.
The small island country in the Persian Gulf began offering booster doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to those immunized six months earlier with two doses of Sinopharm’s vaccine.
The country is fighting a wave of coronavirus cases, even with a high rate of vaccination.
Last Wednesday (18), the US government said it plans to offer the third dose of vaccine to all Americans starting September 20th.
United States to Offer Covid-19 Vaccine Booster Dose
The dose will be given to those who were vaccinated with the second dose of Pfizer and Moderna for at least eight months.
Health officials said those who received the single dose of Johnson & Johnson will likely need extra doses as well, but they are awaiting more data.
A booster vaccination schedule in the UK will probably start in September, declared on Thursday (19) the British Health Minister, Sajid Javid.
He said he was not sure of the exact starting date, as the government was waiting for the final opinion of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization before moving forward.
According to Javid, the “most vulnerable” will receive the third dose first.
It remains to be seen whether the reinforcement will be for all adults or just some of the most vulnerable groups.
Starting in September, Germany will administer a booster of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to the elderly, residents of nursing homes and people with compromised immune systems.
In addition, the country wants to give extra doses to anyone who has already been fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson’s single dose.
“We will be ready for autumn,” said Klaus Holetschek, the Bavarian health minister who made the announcement on behalf of all 16 health ministers in the German state.
He said he was still hoping that science would “generate even more reliable data to help us optimize” the vaccination strategy.
France plans to administer booster doses to all the elderly and vulnerable from September onwards.
“A third dose will probably be needed, not for everyone right away, but in any case for the most vulnerable – and the elderly,” said President Emmanuel Macron on his Instagram account.
Cambodia will now offer new doses for those who were vaccinated with vaccines from Sinovac and Sinopharm, both from Chinese laboratories.
They will receive a new dose of AstraZeneca, and, vice versa, those who had received doses of AstraZeneca will receive a dose of Sinovac vaccine as a booster.
In early August, Indonesia began administering the third dose of vaccine to health professionals across the country, who had mostly received doses of vaccine from Sinovac.
They’re getting shots of Moderna’s vaccine.