The European Medicines Agency takes a profile and leaves the third dose of the COVID vaccine in the hands of the countries: this is what we know
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has just published a recommendation on the booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines: the famous third dose. It is a controversial topic that has been discussed for weeks, but it was not until today that the EMA has been able to analyze the data of the pharmaceutical companies and draw solid conclusions. Unfortunately they do not settle the matter.
While recommending a third dose for people with immune problems (something that has already been done for months); the European Agency has decided to put the ball of the third dose in the general population to the national agencies and their respective governments. He authorizes it, yes; but publicly neither recommends it, nor does it stop recommending it.
What do we know about the third dose?
Third dose? As we said a few months ago, there is a fairly general consensus that a third dose of mRNA vaccines will be needed. The problem is that this consensus is generalized only among the pharmaceutical industry. Experts disagree, and many believe the vaccines are working so well that such a booster will not be necessary.
What does the data say? That is the big question. After looking at the results that Pfizer has presented (the data from Moderna is still being studied), the Committee for Human Medicines (CHMP) has concluded that, if we put a reminder of the Pfizer vaccine to those over 18, It should be put in at least six months after the second dose. However, it does not explicitly recommend proceeding to vaccinate the population for the third time. Basically, it leaves the door open, it gives general guidelines for whoever wants to put it up; but it makes it clear that the decision is a national matter.
Will or will there not be a third vaccine? Together with the vaccination of children under 12 years of age, that is one of the big questions that is still in the pipeline. It is reasonable to think that that third dose will come. After all, European countries have millions of them in charge that they have no one to put in (and that “politically” they cannot simply afford to donate either).
Rather, the question is when and how to justify it; whether it is necessary, advisable, or a mere question of epidemiological prudence. The problem is that, as the pandemic leaves the front pages of newspapers and restrictions disappear from the lives of Europeans, we run the risk of losing sight of the fact that there are still many decisions to be made.