4. corona vaccination: possible after six months in high-risk cases

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The National Immunization Panel (NIG) has updated its recommendations regarding Corona vaccination: High-risk individuals and people over 65 may receive the 4th prick six months after the 3rd vaccination.

In principle, a fourth vaccination is not currently approved and is not generally recommended for immunocompetent individuals.

4th Corona Vaccination “Off Label“

However, people who are expected to have a shorter duration of vaccination protection, e.g., due to immunosuppression or age, should receive a further vaccination in some instances. Before this, an individual risk-benefit assessment by the physician is necessary, and the vaccination takes place at the personal request (off-label).

Whether further vaccine doses or booster vaccinations with the available vaccines or with certain vaccines that specifically cover the Omikron variant will be necessary “is the subject of ongoing investigations,” it was stated. However, based on current data, “it can be assumed that good protection against severe courses and prevention of hospitalization is provided after three vaccinations.”

Update on corona vaccination for pregnant women

Regarding vaccination of pregnant women, the NIG maintained that an mRNA vaccine should be administered in the second or third trimester, depending on vaccination status. Extensive studies have shown no increase in adverse pregnancy outcomes. Preference should be given to Comirnaty because it has the most comprehensive data. Spikevax is also possible from the age of 30 years. Routine pregnancy testing before Covid 19 vaccination is unnecessary, and the recommendation to vaccinate only in the second and third trimesters is purely precautionary.

For persons who have not developed a sufficient immune response after three vaccinations, Evusheld (tixagevimab/cilgavimab) can be used for prevention (currently not approved in the EU, but emergency approval by the FDA). It is a long-acting preparation consisting of a combination of two monoclonal antibodies. These are administered intramuscularly and induce protection for six months. Evusheld is expected to be available in Austria before the end of March.

Prophylactic Covid drug is also available

Prophylactic use of Xevudy (sotrovimab) is also possible (off-label). The active ingredient has been approved in the EU since December 2021 for the treatment of Covid-19, but not for preventive prophylaxis; the drug is administered intravenously. Here, a protective effect is assumed for about two months.

  • sources. vienna.at/APA/picture: pixabay.com
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