The European Union regulator will vote on a third dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus for the population over 16 years old in early October, the body announced on Thursday.

At the same time, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) must decide on the booster doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for immunocompromised people, EMA vaccine strategy manager Marco Cavaleri told reporters.

Immunity that wanes over time

Protection against Covid-19 tends to decrease in the months following the first doses, he said.

“The available data shows that the immunity against Covid-19 acquired with the first doses weakens over time, and the protection against the infection and its symptoms decreases in different parts of the world,” he continued.

Accordingly, the AEM is in the process of assessing Pfizer's demand for the use of a third dose at least six months after the second for the population over 16 years of age.

"The result of this evaluation is expected at the beginning of October, unless more information is necessary", according to Marco Cavaleri.

A shorter time frame for the immunocompromised

The head of the AEM also considered that "the evidence is becoming more and more tangible" that a third dose should be given shortly after the first to immunocompromised people who "respond poorly" to the initial doses.

The agency will indicate "by early October whether specific recommendations should be included in product information" of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for these people, he added.

"It is taken into account and recognized that some Member States are already deploying a third dose for this population," said the official.

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