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Gheorghita: Term for administering the booster dose, reduced to four months, from January 17

The chairman of the National Committee for the Coordination of Activities on COVID Vaccination (CNCAV), Valeriu Gheorghita, announced on Thursday, reducing the administration term of the booster dose from six months to four months for all types of vaccines currently in Romania.

"Anyone who has at least four months from the first complete vaccination scheme can go for the booster dose, just to make it possible to complete the vaccination scheme at the moment, because scientific data show us greater protection, a recovery of the effectiveness of vaccines against Omicron infection. Why was this four-month threshold chosen? We looked at what is happening in other European countries. Most chose two thresholds; three months or four months. We have decided to opt for the four-month threshold, because scientific data show that protection against the Omicron variant is starting to drop quite a bit after the fourth month since the first vaccination scheme," he told a press conference held at Victoria Palace.

The head of CNCAV added that, in terms of the immunological effect, by administering the vaccine dose sooner than four months "the real booster effect" on the immune response is lost.

"This change will be available from Monday, January 17. Practically, from Monday, all people who have at least four months since the first vaccination scheme can apply for the booster dose, including all people over 12 years old," he said.

The military doctor advised vulnerable people and those with chronic conditions to take this booster dose, as the data indicate "additional protection against severe forms requiring hospitalization and the risk of death."

Valeriu Gheorghita mentioned that people who received a vaccine based on RNA messenger on the first vaccination scheme will only be able to opt for a similar vaccine. Also, those who have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca will be able to opt for one of two vaccines based on RNA messenger.

"The only difference is with Johnson&Johnson vaccine recipients, who can opt for booster, on request, to get the same type of vaccine, which is Johnson. Our firm recommendation is to get a vaccine based on RNA messenger for the booster dose (...) because the immunogenic effect is superior," he said.