Based on current evidence, there is no urgent need for the administration of booster shots to fully vaccinated people in the general population, according to a technical report issued by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
“Evidence on vaccine effectiveness and duration of protection shows that all vaccines authorized in the EU/EEA are currently highly protective against COVID-19-related hospitalization, severe disease and death, while about one out of three adults in the EU/EEA over 18 years is still currently not fully vaccinated,” the ECDC said, according to a news release from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The priority should be to vaccinate all eligible people who have not yet completed a course of the vaccine, the report said. “To complement vaccination efforts, it is also crucial to continue applying measures such as physical distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene, and using face masks where needed, in particular in high-risk settings such as long-term care facilities or hospital wards with patients at risk of severe COVID-19,” the ECDC said.
However, the ECDC also said people with compromised immune systems should consider a booster dose now. “Consideration could also be given to providing an additional dose, as a precautionary measure, to older frail individuals, in particular those living in closed settings such as residents of long-term care facilities.”
The EMA said it is currently assessing data on additional doses and will consider whether updates to the product information are appropriate. EMA will also be assessing data on booster doses.