With vaccination uptake getting traction in Ukraine, more and more people are considering getting a booster shot.
‘Bukvy’ approached Ukraine’s health ministry to find out if the government has stocked up enough doses for revaccination that, according to earlier claims by health minister Viktor Lyashko, is slated to get underway at the start of next year.
In response to Bukvy inquiry, health officials said their ministry has already received the recommendations on use of booster shots from National immunization technical experts’ group, adding ‘it is now considering its expertise’.
What Ukrainian immunization experts recommend
Ukraine authorized three two-dose vaccines from AstraZeneca, CoronaVac/Sinovac-Biotech and Comirnaty/Pfizer-BioNTech, meaning all of them could be used for a booster shot that will be offered to several groups.
State immunization experts say revaccination campaign must prioritize high-risk groups like ‘health care and nursing homes’ workers who should get a revaccination dose in, at least, 6 month after the initial Covid-19 vaccination’, noting that ‘preference should be given to a mRNA vaccine’.
They also clarify the difference between an ‘additional dose’ used for better protection of persons who face lower vaccine efficiency due to certain medical conditions, and a ‘booster dose’ used to get stronger immune response and higher vaccine effeincy that goes down over time.
The ministry experts say an ‘additional dose’ is recommended for
- fully vaccinated adults 60 and older
- people traveling to countries where such booster shots are mandatory (Israel)
- immunocompromised people
How many vaccine doses Ukraine have for revaccination
Health officials failed to give a clear answer to ‘Bukvy’ inquiry about the vaccine stock available for the next year’s revaccination campaign, saying that “Ukraine is regularly, in accordance to the contracts, getting Covid-19 vaccines…and the government is in talks with vaccine producers and governments in others countries to get all Ukrainians equal and uninterrupted access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines’.
The recent data showed Ukraine has currently about 9 million Covid doses.