Argentina's Health Ministry Carla Vizzotti insisted that people needed to get an additional shot of Covid-19 vaccine if the last application was over 120 days ago, regardless of the number of doses taken previously, and announced the country would have bivalent vaccines available in the first quarter of 2023.
Vizzotti also said that the Government was permanently working on second-generation immunization with laboratories regarding the amendments to the contracts and with the submissions to the Administration of Medicines, Food and Medical Technology (Anmat).
The recommendation of all the international organizations and of the authorities in Argentina is to provide the [bivalent] vaccine as soon as possible, Vizzotti argued. However, she underlined that it was not necessary to wait for the new vaccine. The objective is to use all the vaccines we have in stock and then, as they come in, start giving the others, she added.
All the people who are more than 120 days after the last dose, no matter the number of doses or the number of boosters, must be given a dose to stimulate their defenses and work in that sense so that, knowing that there will continue to be cases, this does not translate into hospitalizations and deaths, especially for those who are most at risk, said Vizzotti.
Bivalent vaccines combine in the same application a stimulus for the creation of antibodies against both the Spike protein, present in the initial variants of the infection, as well as against the Omicron mutations; particularly the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants.
So far, the only bivalent vaccines developed and approved for use in humans are the adapted versions of Moderna Spikevax and Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty.
People over 50 years of age, risk factors, teachers, and healthcare personnel -regardless of their age- are eligible for the third booster dose (fifth or sixth dose, depending on the primary vaccination schedule), as long as 120 days have passed since the last dose.
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