Booster vaccination: after 6 months or before?
As protection against the coronavirus gradually decreases in the months following full vaccination, experts agree on the need for a third booster dose. So recommend the Standing Committee on Vaccinations (STIKO) from Robert Koch Institute (RKI) “all persons over the age of 18 the recall shot of COVID-19 “. Medical and nursing staff, the elderly and people with immune deficiencies or other previous illnesses should receive preferential enhancement. However, all other people can already try to make a booster vaccination appointment.
But when should booster vaccination take place? Actually only after 6 months or are advanced refresher courses possible and sensible? According to STIKO the booster vaccination should “usually be given 6 months after the last vaccine dose of the primary immunization. One Reduction of the vaccination interval to 5 months it can be considered on a case-by-case basis or if there is sufficient capacity ”. If you have already received an appointment before the end of your 6 months, there is nothing to say against vaccinating again after 5 months. Here’s what it looks like Sandra Ciesek, Director of the Institute of Medical Virology of the University Hospital of Frankfurt. In the current episode of Coronavirus updates from NDR Info says the virologist: “I don’t see any problems there. If you get vaccinated after 5 months or after 6 months, it doesn’t make much difference. Only after 2 or 3 months the question arises: does it make a difference? And there is no data on this. But these 5 months or 6 months, it doesn’t matter. “
How much vaccine protection is still available after 6 months?
As vaccines and staffing requirements are limited, many vaccination centers and GP’s currently still have the restriction that a booster vaccination can be given as soon as six months after basic immunization, unless you belong to a risk group. As a result, many people who would like to receive the booster but were vaccinated four or five months ago are very concerned that they are still properly vaccinated. In this regard, we can reassure you: even after six months, there is still an extremely high level of vaccination protection, at least in the case of young people under the age of 60. The aerzteblatt.de experts reviewed the current studies and results: based on this, the effectiveness of vaccines is two months after basic immunization 96.2 percent. Between the fourth and sixth month after full vaccination, vaccination protection is on average at least still 83.7 percent. It is also important that it is just protection against Covid-19 infection. According to the RKI, the protection against severe course is still as high after six months as immediately after successful basic immunization: “People with healthy immune systems are still well protected against serious COVID-19 disease at least 6 months after completing basic immunization.”.
What vaccines are used for boosters?
Booster vaccinations are currently performed only with Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines. As a rule, the same vaccine used for basic immunization is used, however, at present, nothing prohibits the use of the other vaccine. According to the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), the two vaccines are equivalent. Young people aged 18-29 and pregnant women from the second trimester should be boosted with the Biontech / Pfizer vaccine according to the STIKO recommendation.
Booster vaccination: are there reactions and side effects to vaccination?
Vaccine reactions within the tolerable range are not unusual or alarming, even after booster vaccination. According to current data, possible vaccine reactions and side effects after mRNA booster occur with similar modality and frequency to those after primary immunization. You should therefore protect your immune system before and after the booster vaccination as well as after the first two vaccinations.