The groups which can go ahead with the booster shot against COVID-19 have been determined by the Health Ministry and include those living and working in nursing homes, those aged 65 and over, health professionals and those who are immunosuppressed and or are immunodeficient.
In a statement, the Health Ministry on Monday said that the third dose is for those who have completed their vaccination regime with both doses and have been vaccinated with Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca). A third dose cannot be administered to those who have been vaccinated with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The third dose will be administered six months after the completion of the second dose.
An exception to the above is people who are taking immunosuppressants. In these cases, the third dose can be administered at least four weeks after the second dose has been given and in such a way that it does not coincide with their timing of their immunosuppressed therapy and according to doctors’ instructions.
In addition, the vaccination of people who have priority to receive the third dose will take place gradually and according to the capabilities of the vaccination process. For each of the groups, the procedure followed during their initial vaccination will be followed as a basic principle.
Specifically, those who are working and staying at nursing homes will be vaccinated by the mobile vaccination units which will visit the homes, in consultation with the health officials of each district.
Those aged 65 and over, should arrange their appointment through the vaccination portal of the Health Ministry and the age group will be granted gradually, starting with the older ages. The time of arranging appointments will be announced at a later stage.
Those 65 and below will be granted the right for a third dose gradually and at a later stage, when the first decision of the cabinet has been completed and according to the procedures followed by other EU member states.
Health professionals will be vaccinated according to the procedure of the health professional group and health infrastructure. Priority will be given to those working in COVID-19 wards or ICUs and ambulance services. The appointments will be arranged in the same manner the original appointments were made.
It is added that people who are immunosuppressed/immunodeficient are those who are receiving treatment for solid tumours and haematological malignancies, have a transplant history and are receiving immunosuppressive therapy, have a transplant history of primary hematopoietic organs, receiving immunosuppressive therapy, are people with hereditary immunodeficiency, people with HIV Infection/AIDS and people who are receiving immunosuppressive therapy including biological agents.
Regarding cortisone those eligible for a third dose are people who have received or are receiving a total dose of >10 mg of prednisone/day (=8 mg of methylprednisolone) for 1 month in the last six months.
The vaccination for these groups of people will be done gradually, and the appointments will be made via telephone.