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Covid vaccine, do I have to take the fourth dose? When and why? What you need to know – Corriere.it

from Margherita De Bac

To whom it is recommended and how to book: the indications of the Ministry of Health and the ISS

Who is the fourth dose of vaccine recommended to?

On April 13, a circular from the Ministry of Health published in the Official Gazette established that it should be recommended to people over or at the age of 80, to guests of RSAs (assisted health residences) and to those who have been included in the categories at risk with an age between 60 and 79 years.

What vaccines are used?

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, both based on messenger RNA technology, were authorized for the fourth dose.

Who, belonging to these categories, received the first booster dose then a three-dose course and subsequently contracted the natural infection, can skip the fourth dose (or second booster) as the infection has given him a sort of reinforcement of immunity acquired with the vaccine?

Currently the recommendation does not apply to people who have contracted Sars-CoV-2 infection following the administration of the first booster dose.

What are the priorities?

The ministry note, Iss (higher health institute) and Aifa (drug agency) underline that the highest priority remains to vaccinate those who have not yet received the third dose and to administer the fourth to those subjects with marked impairment of the immune response linked to to chronic pathologies or pharmacological treatments and to subjects undergoing organ transplantation.

Does the fourth dose have any side effects?

There is no evidence of side effects higher than those possibly accused after the previous doses: redness on the arm, in correspondence with the sting, slight rise in temperature which disappears spontaneously.

The vaccines available today are based on the original Wuhan virus (2020) and in the meantime new variants have been circulating. The current one is Omicron. What reason is there to get immunized with a fourth dose of the old vaccine?

It has been seen that the fourth dose protects against the development of severe forms of Covid and the risk of hospitalization. It is likely that the slight increase in hospitalizations recorded in recent weeks is linked to the low adherence to the fourth dose by people to whom they have been recommended.

How long does immunity last after the third dose?

According to the data available today, three months after vaccination it is between 45 and 66%, decreases between 25 and 45% from 3 to 6 months. The efficacy on the risk of serious disease 80-90% after 3 months, drops to 60-80% after 4 months.

So when to take the fourth dose?

The circular of the ministry of April 13, 2022 indicates an interval of at least 4 months, 120 days, from the third dose

Where to book?

You can book through the websites of the Regions and, given the low adherence to the fourth dose and the absence of queues, it is also advisable to go directly to the nearest vaccination center.

Why is adhesion so low?

There is the erroneous perception that getting vaccinated today is of little use and that it is better to wait for the new vaccine, the arrival of which was announced for next autumn. Instead, responding to the Italian health care recommendation is more important than ever in this phase in which infections are on the rise and the virus circulates intensely thanks to the ability to be more contagious than the previous variants even if less aggressive for the vaccinated. (He answered the questions of the Corriere Carlo Signorelli, full professor of Hygiene at the San Raffaele University).

June 22, 2022 (change June 23, 2022 | 08:53)

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