Annual Covid vaccine under consideration

Annual Covid vaccine under consideration

Scientists are debating whether or not to provide an additional dose of the Covid-19 vaccination to members of vulnerable groups in the fall.

The National Vaccination Committee will review data gathered from Covid-19 epidemic indicators, circulating SARS-CoV-2 strains, advancements with the development of updated vaccines and recommendations and guidelines from international organizations regarding vaccination against the disease at its upcoming meeting, which is anticipated to take place this month. The goal is to reach a conclusion regarding the strategy for vaccination against the disease.

​​​​​​According to reports, the most likely scenario is to propose an additional vaccination, with updated vaccines, for those at high risk of illness, “in the same logic as annual vaccinations against influenza,” sources told Kathimerini.

​​​​​​Kathimerini also understands that Greece will, in September, receive the updated vaccines, which are expected to get approval from the European Medicines Agency around the end of August. The new vaccines are designed to target the Omicron XBB 1.5 subvariant, which has been predominant in recent months among other variants. It is also estimated that they may prove effective against Eris, which since mid-July appears to be gaining ground internationally.

This strategy was also employed in September last year, with updated vaccines against the then-new Omicron sub-variants. The high-risk groups at the time were people aged 60 and above, younger people with underlying diseases (chronic respiratory diseases, chronic cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, chronic kidney disease, immune suppression, etc.), health professionals, workers in elderly care facilities and those employed in care facilities for the chronically ill.

The epidemiological data that will be analyzed are clearly much better than last year’s. Although there has been an increase in the number of patients admitted to hospitals over the last five weeks, the pressure on the health system remains low.

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