The German Vaccine Commission recommends the fourth COVID-19 shot

People waiting in line for their vaccination against coronavirus (COVID-19) in front of a vaccination center in Munich, Germany, on January 27, 2022. REUTERS / Andreas Gebert

BERLIN, February 3 (Reuters) – Germany’s expert panel on vaccine use (STIKO) is preparing to recommend a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose, committee chairman Thomas Mertens told media group Funke on Thursday.

“We have data from Israel showing that a fourth dose significantly improves protection against a serious case of illness,” Mertens told Funke. “STIKO will soon make the recommendation,” he added.

The panel will only recommend booster shots with vaccines already available, Mertens added.

On vaccines adapted to act against the Omicron coronavirus variant, STIKO would have to wait for clinical data from Moderna (MRNA.O) and Pfizer-BioNTech, the media group Mertens was quoted as saying.

Some countries have already started offering additional booster doses, but a recent study from Israel showed that while a fourth dose of an mRNA vaccine boosts antibodies, the level was not high enough to prevent Omicron infection. Read more

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Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska; Editing Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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