Health Ministry clarifies third vaccine dose

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A box of Sinopharm vaccines. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

THE Ministry of Health on Friday said the need for some people to receive a third primary vaccine dose does not affect vaccinated patrons from accessing safe zones.

In a media release, the ministry said “at this time” the additional dose does not affect a person’s vaccination status and the country will be informed if that changes. The release said those who previously fitted into the category of fully vaccinated before the introduction of the third shot will continue to be considered fully vaccinated.

“The public will be advised if there are any changes to this policy. A person is therefore considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receipt of the number doses of a covid19 vaccine.”

On Wednesday technical director of epidemiology at the Ministry of Health Dr Avery Hinds said for those who received the Sinopharm vaccine a third primary dose is recommended for those 60 and over.

Sinopharm recipients who are moderately or severely immunocompromised will also be targeted one-three months after their second dose, he said. Those who fit this category and have only received a single dose will be contacted at the end of a month to three months.

Those who received the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and are moderately to severely immunocompromised, will be targeted one-three months after their final dose as well.

The immunocompromised include those with cancer and transplant patients and people who are HIV-positive or living with any other immune deficiency.

WHO IS FULLY VAXXED?

The ministry, in a separate release on Friday, sought to clarify information in the public domain on the definition of a fully vaccinated person.

A fully vaccinated individual, the ministry said, is defined as one who has received the required number of doses of a WHO-approved covid19 vaccine and two weeks have passed since the final recommended vaccine dose was received.

At this time, the additional primary dose does not affect a person’s vaccination status (eg for entry into safe zones or for entry into TT).

Thus those who previously fitted into the category of fully vaccinated before the introduction of the additional primary dose will continue to be considered fully vaccinated. The public will be advised if there are any changes to this policy.

FULLY VAXXED IF:

VACCINE REQUIRED DOSES

* Johnson & Johnson: One dose

* AstraZeneca (AZ): Two doses

* Pfizer: Two doses

* Moderna: Two doses

* Sinopharm: Two doses

* Covaxin: Two doses

* 1st dose AZ and 2nd dose Pfizer: One dose each in that order

* 1st dose AZ and 2nd dose Moderna: One dose each in that order