3rd dose vaccination has started for people over 50 years old and healthcare workers in Turkey.
Turkey3rd dose vaccination has started for people over 50 years old and healthcare workers in Turkey.
While discussing whether there is a need for a third dose of vaccination in the world, this decision raised the question of why Turkey might need it.
We examined the researches in this field and sought answers to the questions that were asked.
Why is the third dose vaccination in Turkey?or needed?
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in a statement yesterday, “We decided that the third dose of vaccine would be beneficial,” but did not explain the reason for this decision.
However, experts believe that those over the age of 65, who are in the highest risk group, and health workers, who are less protective, Sinovac says they may need a third dose because they have been vaccinated with
According to the study titled “Sinovac Vaccine Immune Response 3rd Month Follow-up Results” published by Manisa Celal Bayar University on June 24 and followed by 1053 healthcare professionals, antibodies were detected in 97 percent of healthcare professionals 28 days after the second vaccine. This rate decreased to 77 percent at the end of the third month.
In the research, it was seen that the antibodies decreased in 95 percent of the health personnel and the following conclusion was reached:
“Although all these data will be clarified with the results of the ‘6 month post-vaccination antibody levels and efficacy’ follow-up results, which we will do in August 2021, it suggests that the ‘3rd dose reminder vaccine’ may be required in healthcare workers for the vaccine’s effectiveness to be long-lasting.”
As a reason for the 3rd dose vaccination, it is shown that taking this dose with a vaccine that has proven to protect against the delta variant, which is spreading rapidly in some countries, provides greater protection against the variant.
The Turkish Medical Association also said in a letter sent to the Ministry of Health on June 29, “At this stage, the application of the third dose of vaccine is a necessity.”
Uğur Şahin, the founder of BioNTech, said that the vaccines are also effective against the delta variant and that there is no need to adapt the vaccines against new variants yet.
Şahin said, “I assume that the third dose of vaccine may have a high value for renewing immunity. However, we do not yet know when and how often booster vaccination will be necessary.”
How effective is the Sinovac vaccine against the delta variant?
There is no data on the effectiveness of the Sinovac vaccine, which is mainly administered in Turkey, especially in the first months of 2021, against the delta variant.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in a statement yesterday, “The vaccines available seem to protect against mutations at certain levels.”
Sinovac Spokesperson Liu Peiçeng said that their vaccines were also effective against the delta variant, but the antibody produced decreased to one third in this variant. However, scientists are skeptical of this statement because the data is not shared with the scientific world and is only made in the form of a press release.
Indonesia, which has vaccinated healthcare workers with Sinovac, announced that hundreds of healthcare workers have caught the coronavirus in the new wave, which has been experienced with the effect of the delta variant this month.
The World Health Organization also announced that the delta variant is 55 percent more contagious than the alpha variant, which emerged in the UK last year and was announced to be more contagious than the first form of the coronavirus, and it is expected to become the dominant variant in the world in the coming months.
Does 3rd dose vaccination slow down herd immunity?
According to TUIK data, the population over the age of 50 in Turkey constitutes approximately 25 percent of the society. That’s about 20 million people. The number of health workers in Turkey is about 1 million.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, in his statement yesterday, said that in a short time, 1.5-2 million doses of vaccine will be made per day in Turkey.
If the vaccination at the level mentioned by Koca can be made, Turkey’s population over 50 years old and health workers can be vaccinated within 10-15 days.
BBC TurkishSpeaking to , the Vice President of the Turkish Medical Association Dr. Ali İhsan Ökten says that according to the statements of Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca, Turkey has sufficient amount of vaccine, so the 3rd dose of vaccination will not slow down the goal of achieving herd immunity.
Reminding that the protection of the Sinovac vaccines decreases from the 6th month and that the health workers and the group over the age of 65 are vaccinated with Sinovac, Ökten states that the 3rd dose of vaccine is required to protect this group against the disease.
Which vaccine should be preferred in the 3rd dose?
Among the most frequently asked questions are “Which vaccine should we have at the 3rd dose?” Ökten says that they recommend Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to people who take their first two doses of Sinovac, and that they recommend waiting a little longer for the third dose to those whose first two doses are Pfizer/BioNTech.
Ökten states that according to the data they have, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine provides protection for up to 9 months.
England is considering giving a third dose of vaccine to people in risk groups starting from autumn.
Are there other countries in the world that give different vaccines to the same person?
Another important point in Health Minister Koca’s announcement was that people who had their first dose of Sinovac could have their second dose of Pfizer/BioNTech.
Research is being conducted on the application of different types of vaccines to humans in the fight against coronavirus.
In these studies, it was seen that the immune systems of those who had different vaccines responded well to the coronavirus.
Some countries have implemented this. Bahrain started to offer Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines as the 3rd dose at the end of 6 months to those who received the vaccine produced by Sinopharm company in China at the beginning of June. The public can also get the 3rd dose of Sinopharm vaccine if they want, but the Bahraini authorities recommend the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine especially for those over 50 years old.
In some countries, different vaccines are given as a second dose to people whose first dose of vaccine is AstraZeneca/Oxford.