EU: too early to say if COVID booster needed as Germany, France press ahead

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There’s not enough data to recommend using COVID-19 vaccine boosters, the European Union’s drugs regulator said on Friday, after major EU states said they would roll out a third dose for the most vulnerable from September.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) had said in mid-July that more data was needed before it could make a recommendation on boosters, but the EU’s biggest countries Germany and France are ploughing ahead with plans to roll out some anyway.

That is despite a call from the World Health Organization on Wednesday for a halt to boosters until more people around the world have been vaccinated.

“It is currently too early to confirm if and when a booster dose for COVID-19 vaccines will be needed, because there is not yet enough data from vaccination campaigns and ongoing studies to understand how long protection from the vaccines will last,” the EMA said on Friday.

Nevertheless, Germany intends to give boosters to immunocompromised patients, the very elderly and nursing home residents from September. France is also working on rolling out third doses to the elderly and vulnerable from next month.

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