The Public Health Commission, which brings together members of the Ministry of Health and the autonomous communities, this afternoon gave the go-ahead to the third dose for immunosuppressed patients, as confirmed by sources present at the meeting to elDiario.es. The decision must still pass the filter of the Interterritorial Council on Wednesday to be final.
Health experts recommend limiting the third dose to immunosuppressed people for now
Access to this booster dose is limited, for the moment, to transplants (lung, kidney, pancreatic, heart, liver and intestinal) or blood stem cell recipients – known as hematopoietic stem cell transplants – and to patients treated with monoclonal antibodies. Some cancers, such as lymphomas, are fought with these drugs. All these patients are part of the “high risk” group in the vaccination strategy and their inoculation was a priority.
However, there are patients who thicken group 7 but are left out of the third dose, such as cancer patients treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In this priority group it is made up of about 366,000 people, depending on the vaccination strategy, although the additional puncture will be applied to many fewer. In the absence of a final decision, people receiving hemodialysis, with HIV or with Down syndrome over 40 years of age would be excluded. The meeting between the Government and the autonomous communities this Wednesday could illuminate changes in the patients included since the decisions of the Public Health Commission are submitted to the approval of the Interterritorial Health Council.
In any case, the target population of this booster dose can be expanded. The Vaccine Report, made up of the technicians who advise the Ministry, recommend “continuing the review of the evidence of the benefits that an additional dose can provide in other immunosuppressive situations, such as oncohematological patients undergoing chemo-radiotherapy treatment and in those with basic pathologies that require immunosuppressive treatment “, says the note sent by the Ministry of Health.
Health experts at the European level recommended a week ago that the use of third doses be limited to people with severely weakened immune systems, such as patients with transplants or cancer treatments. Both the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Spanish vaccine presentation have already reached the same conclusion: apply a third dose to immunosuppressed people and not to the general population.