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Spain weighs up pros and cons of fourth covid vaccine

Spain weighs up pros and cons of a fourth covid vaccine with experts debating the possible anomalous effects.

Spain has started weighing up the pros and cons of a fourth Covid-19 vaccine with the Spanish Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (SNS), debating the issue. Experts are divided on the matter, as this booster dose could potentially cause possible anomalous effects on the immune system, as pointed out by Antonio Zapatero, Vice-Minister of Health Care and Public Health of the Community of Madrid.

 Redacción Médica , a Spanish medical news company spoke to experts who deny these possible effects. “There is no evidence that they have an anomalous effect. It is true that in the general population it does not provide anything more than what the three doses already achieve, but it would not have an abnormal effect on the immune system at all,” stated Marcos López Hoyos, President of the Spanish Society of Immunology (SEI).

“If it is given with the corresponding time interval, there is no abnormal effect. I mean that people who have had covid should not be vaccinated after four weeks, as was recommended. If five months have passed and the epidemiological situation recommends it, nothing happens. What you should not do, however, is to get doses of the vaccine just for the sake of getting them. It is only for the severely immunocompromised and those over 80 years of age, not for the general population,” added Fernando Moraga-Llop, paediatrician and vice-president of the AEV.

What experts do believe is that stimulating with the same antigen may not be effective. “It doesn’t make much sense to use the same type of vaccine repeatedly. In vulnerable people, the fourth dose would fall in the same way as the third, that is to say, it does not increase the reportorium and in that sense it should not continue to stimulate with the same antigen,” stated López Hoyos.

Ideally, the fourth dose should be with an updated vaccine, i.e. one that has been reformulated agree experts:
“As most people have been inoculated with an RNA vaccine focused on the S protein, we should look for other models such as Hipra’s to induce a more varied response. There are data that show that combinations of vaccines give a better response, as it is more varied and potent,” stated López Hoyos.

Something may help, but probably in a quarter of the cases those who did not respond to the previous three will not respond to the fourth. What we need to do is to evaluate them after the fourth dose from the point of view of the humoral antibody response and also cellular immunity. This way we can see how they respond and if it is worthwhile to give more booster doses in the future,” added López Hoyos.


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Written by

Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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