Booster vaccines can possibly oversaturate the immune system warns the EMA
Marco Cavalieri, the head of Strategy for Biological Health Threats and Vaccines of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), has expressed his doubts about the need to give booster doses of the Covid vaccine. He voiced his concern that too many doses would have a negative effect on the body’s immune system.
Speaking at a press conference this Tuesday, January 11, Mr Cavalieri pointed out that the EMA is observing with “concern” the current vaccination strategy that involves vaccinating citizens every three or four months, with the exception of the immunosuppressed.
“We must be careful not to oversaturate the immune system with repeated vaccinations”, he warned, noting that there is also the risk of generating “fatigue” among the population.
He explained, “We have not yet seen data regarding a fourth dose, and we would like to see these data before we can make any recommendations, but at the same time, we are quite concerned about a strategy that involves repeated vaccination in the short term”.
A third dose has already been administered, “due to the current epidemiological situation”, but Cavalieri has pointed out that the vaccination cannot be repeated “continuously”. His proposition was, “It would be better to start thinking about booster doses more spaced in time that are synchronized with winter, as is done with the flu”.
Cavalieri has also ruled out for the moment the idea that Covid-19 can be treated as a flu bug. “It is moving towards an epidemic, although it has not yet achieved this status. With the Omicron there will be more natural immunity, in addition to vaccination, in such a way that it will advance more quickly towards an epidemic scenario”, he highlighted.
He also stressed that the Omicron strain is “very contagious, so the number of infected people is high. It is important to be aware of its potential burden, and not dismiss it as a mild disease”.
Current vaccines “provide high protection against serious illness and hospitalisations related to Omicron”, he assured. “Data from South Africa shows that people who received 2 doses have up to 70 per cent protection. Data from the United Kingdom show that, although protection decreases a few months after vaccination, it increases again to 90 per cent after the booster dose”, Cavalieri concluded, as reported by sevilla.abc.es.