Green light for the vaccine updated to the Omicron 4-5 sub-variants which is now recommended as a priority for the same categories to which the bivalent adapted to Omicron 1 has been recommended. The communication comes from the Ministry of Health Superior Council of Health, Italian Medicines Agency and Higher Institute of Health, in a ministerial circular of ‘Updating the indications on the use of bivalent m-Rna vaccines’.
As we explained in another article, immediately after the bivalent vaccine that covers the original strain and the variant Omicron Ba.1 (but which from laboratory studies seems effective also against the other variants of Omicron), it was in fact approved by the Ema also another vaccine designed specifically for the Omicron Ba.4 and Ba.5 variants.
“Following the authorization by Ema and Aifa of the bivalent formulation” BA.4-5 of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the document reads in fact, two bivalent formulations of mRna vaccines: original / Omicron BA.1 “from Moderna and Pfizer’s Ba4-5 Comirnaty vaccine.
Good. Which of the two vaccines is recommended? As specified by the CTS of Aifa, at the moment “there is no evidence to be able to express a judgment of preferential use of one of the different bivalent vaccines available today, believing that all of them can expand the protection against different variants and can help maintain optimal protection against Covid-19 disease “. Therefore, “the recommendations on the use of the original / Omicron BA.1 formulation are also extended to the original / BA.4-5 formulation, without any distinction”.
Who needs to get vaccinated
Vaccination is recommended for the following categories:
- all subjects over 12 who have not yet taken the third dose;
- those over 60 years of age and belonging to the category of the frail and who have not taken the fourth dose, including health workers, operators and guests of residential facilities for the elderly and pregnant women.
“Specifically – recalls the circular – the use of bivalent mRna vaccine formulations is recommended as a priority: as a second booster dose”, or fourth dose, “in favor of all persons aged 60 or over, of the people with high frailty motivated by concomitant or pre-existing pathologies “over the age of 12,” health workers, guests and operators of residential structures and pregnant women, in the manner and timing provided for the same.
Vaccination is then recommended “as a second booster dose, upon evaluation and specialist clinical judgment, to subjects with marked impairment of the immune response, for causes related to the underlying disease or pharmacological treatments, and to subjects undergoing hematopoietic or solid organ transplantation. who have already received a primary course of three doses (standard primary course plus additional dose at least 28 days after the last dose) and a subsequent first booster dose, at least 120 days after the last dose “.
Vaccination is also recommended “as a first booster dose” or third dose, “in the manner and timing provided for the same, in favor of subjects” over 12 years old “who have not yet received it, regardless of the vaccine used to completion of primary school “.