The immunoprophylaxis expert committee decided on Monday that coronavirus vaccine booster doses could be administered two or three months after the initial vaccination process wraps up.
The committee's new recommendations say that people vaccinated with the Janssen coronavirus vaccine should receive a booster dose two months after their first dose.
The committee said people vaccinated with either the AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines should get booster doses three months after their initial vaccination process finishes.
The current periods are five months for AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines and six months for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Only Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are used for booster doses.
"In the light of the Omicron variant's spread, it is important to increase the vaccination coverage in society," state immunoprophylaxis expert committee member Marje Oona said.
"We recommend people get an opportunity to protect themselves with a booster dose. It is especially important to get a fast booster dose after getting vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine, because current data shows that one dose of the vaccine does not offer similar protection to mRNA vaccines," Oona added.
The expert committee still recommends Pfizer and Moderna vaccines be used for booster doses, but vaccinators can use Janssen vaccines, if necessary. Unlike Moderna or Pfizer, Janssen is a one-shot vaccine.
"Those who have received one dose of the Janssen vaccine really need a booster dose after two months," said Marje Oona, a member of the expert committee.
Editor: Helen Wright, Kristjan Kallaste