People can get a third dose of a different brand of the COVID-19 vaccine they initially received, according to the President of the Moroccan Society of Medical Sciences (SMSM) and member of the Scientific Committee of Covid-19 vaccination, Dr. Said Afif. “Depending on the availability of vaccines, a person who has taken two doses of Astrazeneca may be given a third dose of either Sinopharm or Pfizer, and vice versa (..) So from an immunological and scientific point of view, there is no problem,” Dr Afif told MAP. The people targeted by this new vaccination operation are the most exposed and vulnerable to the virus, he said, adding that this category includes people who were vaccinated at the start of the campaign 6 months ago, namely “the elderly, individuals with chronic diseases, those on the front line, whether it is the staff of the health, security personnel or national education.” Dr Afif explained that the decision to give a 3rd dose came after the committee noticed a decline in immunity in people vaccinated 6 months ago. “We have seen that these people even if they are vaccinated by two doses can be affected by the disease and unfortunately some end in intensive care (..). So this decision was taken on the scientifi level in order to protect them,” he pointed out. Other categories of the population may also be included in this third dose operation, said the expert, adding that this “will be discussed within the scientific committee, on the basis of scientific data available across the world.” Regarding the work of Covid-19 scientific committee and the decision-making process, he said that this body “meets on a weekly basis and discusses all the news”. For example, concerning the vaccination of children aged between 5 and 11, the committee excluded it from the agenda and underlined, on the basis of the available scientific elements, that other studies are needed to decide on this issue,” he pointed out. A fourth or fifth dose is not an option today, the immunologist stressed. “At the present time, we can not speak of 4th or 5th doses.” As for people who have taken a single-dose vaccine, such as the vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson, they are also included in this vaccination operation and must fulfill the condition of 6 months after the first dose, underlined Dr. Afif.
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