COVID-19: 3rd dose of vaccine recommended for seniors and medics

As the Medical Council at the Prime Minister’s office, we decided to recommend the administration a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to seniors, people with chronic diseases and medical staff, Konstanty Szułdrzyński MD, a member of the Council told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

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“A lot of research confirms a significant decrease in the level of immunity after a period of about 8-9 months after taking the second dose of the vaccine against COVID-19. That is why we decided to allow people particularly the vulnerable to infection, i.e. medics, to take the third dose. This group also includes people over 60 years of age and younger people who suffer from comorbidities, who due to their age have a weaker immune system response, and are also particularly vulnerable in the event of infection to a severe course of COVID-19” Doctor Szułdrzyński said.
br> The recommendation applies to all vaccines available in Poland, produced by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson companies.
br> The expert reminded that with many other diseases in the past it was also necessary to administer the so-called booster doses. ”Often the third dose was over and acquired immunity was already stable. Will it be like that this time? More research will be required,” he added.
br> The doctor admitted that testing the antibody level is the cheapest and simplest way to test the level of immunity, but “it is not ideal.”
br> “It may be that the level of antibodies drops, and yet the immunity is stored in the cell memory. To put it simply: the body does not produce antibodies when it is not in contact with the virus, but when exposed to contact with it, it responds and fights the virus.” the expert told PAP.

“Most likely, if someone decides to take the third dose, the validity of his passport will be extended by one year. So far, the current passports have not become outdated, although they have a limited validity from the beginning. We should also remember that both medical staff and seniors received vaccination as priority groups first. Therefore, giving them a third dose of vaccine, again first in order, is also justified by the fact that the most amount of time has passed since their vaccination,” he added.