The Ministry of Health has approved and recommended a third dosage of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination for immunocompromised patients.
The ministry’s technical advisory committee has advised that persons whose immune systems are compromised or inhibited for a variety of reasons, including medical disorders and medicines, have a third dosage of the Pfizer vaccine, which is normally administered in two doses.
“It’s important to note this third primary dose is different to a booster dose in the general population,” Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said on Tuesday.
“Severely immunocompromised people are at high risk of severe outcomes for Covid-19 and, because their immunocompromise, may not produce a sufficiently strong immune response to just two doses of the vaccine.”
Bloomfield said a third Pfizer dose could benefit this group of people, which included people taking immunosuppressive therapies due to having a transplant, and some people with chronic diseases.
The technical advisory group continued to consider the evidence for the need of a third “booster” dose for the general population, for when the effect of the Pfizer vaccine wanes over time.
“Once we have received an application from Pfizer and advice from the technical advisory group, as well as a decision by Cabinet, we will provide the providing further advice around the progress with booster doses.”
There would be a further update about this next week, Bloomfield said.