Officials working on plans for third dose of BioNTech jab
The Turkish Health Ministry’s Science Board is currently working on plans as to when a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine should start to be given to those who have already received two doses of the jab.
Officials have carried out a study to determine antibody levels in individuals, who have been given the vaccine, and they are expected to announce a timetable regarding when people, depending on their age, gender and immune system, should start to receive the third those of the Pfizer/BioNTech shot.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca previously said that studies, which were conducted on samples collected from 31 million vaccinated people, showed that those given three doses of the jab are much better protected against the coronavirus than those who received two shots.
“Studies revealed that two doses of the mRNA and three doses of inactivated vaccines provide similar protection,” Koca said.
Turkey is presently using both the Pfizer/BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine and the inactivated jab developed by the Chinese firm Sinovac in its inoculation program, which was rolled out in mid-January.
The country is already giving a third dose of the vaccine.
“People, who received two doses of the Sinovac vaccine, were recommended to get the third dose as it emerged that the Delta variant of COVID-19 is more contagious. When it comes to the inactivated vaccines, full protection against the virus is only possible with the booster shot,” said Professor Mustafa Hasöksüz, from the Science Board, which advises the government on the pandemic.
The effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in preventing infection by the coronavirus dropped to 47 percent from 88 percent six months after the second dose, an analysis of U.S. patients showed on Oct. 4.
The data, which was published in the Lancet medical journal, had been previously released in August ahead of peer review.
The analysis showed that the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing hospitalizations and deaths remained high at 90 percent for at least six months, even against the Delta variant.
The data suggests that the drop is due to waning efficacy, rather than more contagious variants, researchers said.