Manitoba Daily

Friday, January 28, 2022

More data is needed for the 4th COVID-19 vaccine dose recommendation

More information is needed to support the 4th COVID-19 vaccine dose

Key takeaways:

  • Some Israeli medical experts have expressed reservations about an Israeli panel’s recommendation to administer the fourth vaccine to people over the age of 60.

Some medical experts in Israel have reacted cautiously to an Israeli panel’s recommendation to administer the fourth vaccine to those over 60, believing that more data is needed.

“In July, I voted in favor of the booster recommendation. That time, however, we had more evidence. We don’t have any solid evidence right now, “Dr. Dror Mevorach, the head of the coronavirus department at Hadassah University Hospital Ein Kare in Jerusalem, explained the situation.

“The impact of this fourth booster, I believe, is a big question. I’m not sure it’ll be of any use.”

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Unlike the decision to implement the third dose, which was widely praised, Mevorach told CBC News that some questioned this recommendation in the medical community.

“I would say I got dozens of calls from both medical doctors and scientists telling me that we both believe the same thing, that there is no evidence to give [a fourth dose] at this time,” he said.

The Prime Minister of Israel is pleased with the recommendation.

Concerns about waning immunity from the three vaccines already administered, as well as the potential threat of an Omicron outbreak seen in other countries, led to the recommendation for a fourth dose for people over 60, those with compromised immune systems, and healthcare workers.

“If we don’t vaccinate, the price will be higher,” Boaz Lev, the advisory committee’s chairman, told reporters after the panel’s decision.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett praised the recommendation, calling it “great news that will help us overcome the Omicron wave that is spreading around the world.”

More information is needed to support the 4th COVID-19 vaccine dose
More information is needed to support the 4th COVID-19 vaccine dose. Image from Healio

Nachman Ash, Israel’s director-general of the Ministry of Health, is currently reviewing it. If approved, Israel would be the first country to give some of its citizens the fourth dose. However, there have been rumors that Ash is stalling while reviewing data from the United Kingdom, indicating that Omicron causes less severe illness than the Delta variant.

Dr. Ron Dagan, a member of the expert panel and a professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, acknowledged that the recommendation was not based on fourth dose results “because there is no data.”

In a phone interview with CBC News, he said, “There is no data on which we could base our recommendation.” “On the other hand, there is data that has us concerned about what is happening as a possible scenario in the coming weeks.”

He claims evidence of waning immunity to infection three to four months after the third vaccine was introduced.

Source: CBC News

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