Health council advises third vaccine dose for over-60s
People over 60 or living in residential care should be offered a third vaccine dose to boost their immunity against coronavirus, the Dutch health council has advised.
The Gezondheidsraad said that while the vaccines continued to offer good protection from sickness and hospitalisation, there were signs that it was becoming less effective in older people who received their first two doses in the spring.
Booster jabs should be made available six months after people had their last vaccine dose. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be used for all booster shots, even if people had AstraZeneca or Janssen initially.
Other countries including the USA and Israel started giving booster shots in September, while the UK is offering a third vaccine to everyone over 50.
Until now only booster jabs in the Netherlands have been restricted to around 400,000 people with weakened immune systems who did not develop sufficient protection after two vaccine doses.
The health council said there was not enough scientific evidence to justify rolling out a third dose to the entire population at the moment. It also said the move would not reduce infections in the third wave, as most people currently in intensive care are unvaccinated.
‘The committee’s advice for a booster campaign should therefore not be seen as an advisory for combating the current wave of infections.’
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