AstraZeneca Plc Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said booster COVID vaccine doses may not be needed for everyone in Britain and rushing into a nationwide rollout of third doses risks piling extra pressure on the National Health Service (NHS), the Telegraph reported on Tuesday.
“We need the weight of the clinical evidence gathered from real world use before we can make an informed decision on a third dose,” Soriot wrote in the newspaper.
He further said that “mobilising the NHS for a boosting program that is not needed would potentially add unnecessary burden on the NHS over the long winter months.”
Britain decided to give severely immunosuppressed people a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine to increase their chances of generating a better immune response, although officials stressed the offer was separate from any broader booster vaccine programme.
With the move, Britain follows the United States, which last month authorised a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer Inc-BioNTech and Moderna Inc for people with compromised immune systems who are likely to have weaker protection from two-dose regimens.