Interval for vaccine shots to be shortened to 5 and 3 months

A booster is an additional dose of a vaccine given after the protection provided by the original shot/shots has begun to decrease over time (Photo courtesy New York Times)
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The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment has announced changes in the time interval for Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine boosters.

Going forward, the interval for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine boosters will be changed from 6 months to 5 months after the second dose of the vaccine while the interval for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine booster is changed from 6 months to 3 months.

This means that a fully vaccinated person who was inoculated using Pfizer will have to take a booster shot after 5 months while a person vaccinated with Astrazeneca is required to receive a booster after three months.

These recommendations were made by the COVID-19 Vaccination National Technical Working Group, according to the ministry.

The Ministry said in a press statement that “These changes have become necessary since documented data and published studies have shown that the Omicron variant requires additional vaccine protection. Persons will recall that the Omicron variant has been identified in Antigua and Barbuda”.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine boosters for individuals who are 12 to 17 year old are also now available in Antigua and Barbuda. 

These changes are effective immediately and the booster shots are available at the Multipurpose and Villa Polyclinics vaccination sites and some health centers.

The public is further reminded that vaccination is one of the most effective measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Persons are therefore urged to get fully vaccinated and get their boosters utilizing the AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines readily available at our vaccination sites.

We also implore you to adhere to the public health measures to prevent and control the disease. These include physical and social distancing, using face masks and practicing hand hygiene and cough etiquette.

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