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EU health body says no urgent need for vaccine boosters

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The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said there was no urgent need for booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the fully vaccinated, citing data on the effectiveness of shots.

The comments follow a similar statement from the European Medicines Agency last month that more data was needed on the duration of protection after full inoculation to recommend using booster shots.

The evidence on real-world effectiveness shows that all vaccines authorized in the region are highly protective against COVID-19-related hospitalisation, severe disease and death, the ECDC said.

But the agency said extra doses can be considered for people who experience a limited response to the standard regimen, adding that these shots should be treated differently from booster doses.

Germany and France have announced they would begin giving boosters to vulnerable people and the immunocompromised from this month to protect citizens from the more infectious Delta variant.

The U.S. government has also started administering a third dose of Pfizer Inc-BioNTech and Moderna Inc’s vaccines to those with compromised immunity.

It plans to offer booster doses more widely from Sept. 20 if the country’s health regulators deem them necessary.