AstraZeneca, Janssen will not be used for next vaccination cycle

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A coronavirus vaccine in progress at East Tallinn Central Hospital (ITKH). Source: Raigo Pajula/ITK

Next year, mRNA coronavirus vaccines - such as Pfizer/BioNTech - will be used for revaccination and the state is already purchasing more vaccines.

Minister of Health and Labor, Tanel Kiik (Center) said Estonia is already stocking up on the mRNA vaccine doses.

"Estonia has signed an agreement through the European Union's joint procurement with Pfizer/BioNTech, additional discussions with Moderna are underway and maybe with Curevic in the future. We can say that in 2022, the majority of vaccines will be done with mRNA," Kiik said.

Kiik added that the Janssen and AstraZeneca vaccines, which are not made with mRNA, have not been brought.

People who have received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will probably not receive the third dose of the same vaccine in the coming year.

Virologist Professor Andres Merits said the problem with AstraZeneca and Janssen is that they create an immune response to two different viruses, one of which we need and the other which we do not. As this could affect the effectiveness of the following doses, he said it would be wise to use mRNA vaccines in the future.

"The third dose is likely to be more beneficial than AstraZeneca simply because it precludes the possibility that the anti-vector immune response, or the anti-adenovirus immune response, will affect the effectiveness of the third dose or cause unpredictable side effects," Merits explained.

The third dose of vaccine is given, if necessary, about a year after the second dose, because immunity lasts for at least that long.

"Not less than eight to 12 months. This is well known from history," Merits said.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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