Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna filed a request last week for a third dose of vaccine (booster or “booster”). Swissmedic is analyzing the data received on these requests for modification of dosage recommendations, writes the Swiss Institute for Therapeutic Products on Thursday.
Currently, Moderna and Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccines are licensed in Switzerland for people 12 years of age and older, and both are given in two doses.
Swissmedic examines the safety and efficacy of these third doses in the light of the clinical data transmitted to it. The institute sees whether the information at its disposal is sufficient to expand the indication in question.
Stimulate immune memory
A booster consists of an additional dose of vaccine which is administered after a certain time to people who have completed the primary vaccination course, in order to stimulate their immune memory. Booster doses would be necessary when protection after the complete primary vaccination is no longer sufficient to prevent serious developments in the Covid-19 disease.
Current clinical data on vaccines used in Switzerland and lessons learned from observational studies demonstrate that protection against severe forms of the disease, which is acquired after two doses, is maintained.
The Federal Commission for Vaccinations (CFV) therefore considers that there is currently no urgent need to administer booster doses to the entire population.
Covid-19 vaccines protect against infection or mild symptoms of the disease by neutralizing antibodies that are found in the blood or on the mucous membranes of the respiratory system. When it comes into contact with the pathogen again, the body recognizes it and prevents the disease from breaking out or causing severe symptoms.
Duration of vaccine protection
The quantity of these antibodies slowly decreases after the two injections carried out as part of the primary vaccination course. Protection against asymptomatic or mild symptom infection / disease decreases, but protection against severe disease progression, including hospitalization, remains for a longer period of time.
Indeed, complete vaccination triggers the production of antibodies, but also the production of memory B cells and T cells, which are essentially those that protect against serious diseases. These cells are reactivated after contact with the virus and secrete large amounts of antibodies which, in turn, fight quickly and effectively against the pathogen.