The Ministry of Health and Human Services is pleased to announce the commencement of roll out of the fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The fourth dose of the vaccine has been launched in a number of countries including the UK and the US to provide additional protection to those who are most vulnerable. The MOH will be offering the fourth dose of the vaccine to those who are in the vulnerable group who received the third dose of the vaccine more than six months previously.
Priority groups for the fourth dose include;
- adults aged 60 years and over, residents in a care home for older adults
- individuals aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed
These groups are at the greatest risk of severe illness if they are infected with COVID-19.
To date 85% of the local population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, however only 19 % have received the booster dose.
The COVID-19 vaccine and the booster, remains the most effective way to prevent severe illness during the current pandemic, including severe illness caused by the Omicron variant. Evidence has shown the importance of the booster in preventing hospitalisation and severe outcomes which resulted from the most recent wave of the omicron variant in the US and elsewhere. Data from studies in Israel indicates that a second booster given at least 4 months after the first booster restores antibody levels without raising any new safety concerns. Data also suggest that a second booster provides additional protection against severe disease.
After these priority groups listed above have received the booster, other eligible persons can receive the fourth dose.
Interested persons should discuss the fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine with their health care provider.