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The fourth dose, only for immunocompromised and elderly people

The fourth dose of the vaccine against covid-19 should be directed at the moment only to people with weakened immunity and the elderly, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today.

“There are no specific data that justify recommending the fourth dose more broadly,” said the organization’s chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, at a press conference dedicated to the evolution of the pandemic. Several countries in Europe and Latin America are offering their populations the fourth dose of one of the vaccines that have been developed to prevent covid or avoid its most serious symptoms, a few months after receiving the booster.

“We know that in some groups immunity declines rapidly. If you’re older or have a disease that affects the immune system, if you’re on thyroid treatment, cancer medication or severe diabetes, then the immune system doesn’t respond well and a fourth dose can help,” Swaminathan confirmed. Regarding the rest of the population, he pointed out that the fourth dose is not recommended for all adults.

He recalled that the WHO advises having the two initial doses and a booster “which offers a more complete and stronger immune response, so we consider that the first phase of vaccination consists of three doses.”

However, he pointed out that there is still a considerable part of the world population that does not have access to vaccines, as is the case in Africa, where only 15% of the population has received two doses. “We have to focus on them, particularly the older people groups and healthcare workers” in that part of the world, she insisted.

“In Africa only 26% of the population over the age of 60 have received doses and this is very worrying because in any future outbreak, like what we are seeing in some countries, that group will be at risk of developing severe disease,” he added. .

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