AstraZeneca and Pfizer booster shots interval reduced
Antigua and Barbuda’s AstraZeneca and Pfizer booster shots interval will be reduced on the recommendation of the Covid-19 Vaccination National Technical Working Group, according to reports. Of course that recommendation, was not based on any country-specific research, but simply a copy and paste of the American CDC recommendation for the Pfizer booster shot interval to be reduced from 6 months to 5 months.
This from the CDC website: Today [January 4], CDC is updating our recommendation for when many people can receive a booster shot, shortening the interval from 6 months to 5 months for people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
And while the Antigua Covid-19 Vaccination National Technical Working Group was eager to adopt CDC recommendations and paste them onto the national populace; they predictably ignored the cautions against such a measure.
Outgoing co-chair of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), and infectious disease physician Peter Cheng, was of the view that booster shot timeline reductions, such as the one Australia implemented based on ATAGI recommendations in December last year; which was later duplicated in the U.S by the CDC; could harm the long-term fight against COVID-19. “Providing a booster of the original vaccine now may interfere with later variant vaccines. We need to consider the “long game” – do we “take the shot” now, or wait until the picture is a bit clearer with an eye to winter, variant vaccines and what might still come?”
An article on the Financial Review website, also cited a virologist who pointed out that “shortening the period for a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine will slow the spread of omicron but may leave individuals less protected in the long-run”.
All of this of course ignored by the Antigua Covid-19 Vaccination National Technical Working Group. In a move typical of Caribbean Institutions, we simply did what we were told to do by outside institutions, without a care for how it would work for us as a region specifically. Which is probably why hardly any of our copy and paste policies and projects, work.
AstraZeneca and Pfizer booster shots timelines reduced
Now onto the report on Antigua and Barbuda’s booster shot decision
Health authorities have announced changes in the time interval for Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca Covid-19 booster shots.
The ministry said in a release that the Covid-19 Vaccination National Technical Working Group has recommended that the interval for Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine boosters should be changed from 6 months to 5 months after the second dose of the vaccine and from 6 months to 3 months for the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine booster after the second dose of the vaccine.
In addition, Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine boosters for individuals who are 12- to 17-year-olds are now available in Antigua and Barbuda.
The Ministry said that the changes have become necessary since documented data and published studies have shown that the Omicron variant, which was recently detected in Antigua and Barbuda, requires additional vaccine protection.
The changes, the Ministry said, will take immediate effect, and the booster shots are available at the Multipurpose and Villa Polyclinics vaccination sites and some health centers.
The public is also being reminded that vaccination is one of the most effective measures to control the Covid-19 pandemic. Persons are therefore urged to get fully vaccinated and get their boosters utilising the AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines readily available at our vaccination sites.
Adjusted timelines for AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots Antigua Observer