The European Union's Drug Regulatory Authority announced today that it will approve in early October whether to administer a third dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 to people over 16 years of age.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is also expected to rule on booster doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for the elderly and immunocompromised, EMA vaccine strategy chief Marco Cavaleri told reporters.
Protection against Covid-19 tends to decrease in the months following the first doses, he said.
"The available data show that immunity to Covid-19 acquired with the first doses decreases over time and protection against infection and its symptoms decreases in various parts of the world," he added.
Therefore, Coreper is currently considering Pfizer 's request for a third installment at least six months after the second one for persons over 16 years of age.
"The result of this assessment is expected in early October, unless additional information is required," said Cavaleri.
The EMA official also estimated that "the evidence is becoming more and more tangible" that a third dose should be given shortly after the first to immunosuppressed people who "have a low response" to the initial doses.
The agency will announce "by the beginning of October whether specific recommendations should be included in the information" about the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for these individuals, he added.