Nordic and Asian countries discuss covid-19 booster shots 

Several countries are currently discussing the need for a third covid-19 booster shot predominantly due to the delta variant, including countries across the Nordic Region and Asia.

According to WKZO news, European and U.S. regulators have been asked by Pfizer/BioNTech to approve a booster shot following the two standard doses of their Covid-19 vaccine because evidence shows that there is a greater risk of infection six months after inoculation. 

Currently, there is no agreement between scientists, agencies, and WHO that a booster shot is necessary, and WHO has asked to halt all covid-19 boosters until at least the end of next month to allow every country to at least vaccinate 10 percent of its population first.

Some Nordic countries are however starting to consider the scenario of a third booster shot but WKZO writes that according to the European Union, it is still too early to confirm when and if an additional booster shot would be needed and last month Europe’s drug regulator also refrained from making any recommendations on mixing schedules of COVID-19 vaccines with doses from different manufacturers.

WKZO writes that according to Swedish authorities, high-risk groups could get a third covid-19 booster shot this fall while the majority of the citizens in the Nordic country will be offered one next year. Finland has not announced a decision on the recommendation of a third booster shot but is expected to do so this month. 

Across Asia, countries are already planning for a third booster shot while Indonesia and Cambodia have started already. Last month Indonesia started giving Moderna booster shots to medical workers while the country is considering extra doses for wider use. Cambodia started Sunday offering a third-dose booster to battle the deadly coronavirus. The country will be switching between the AstraZeneca and Chinese COVID-19 vaccines giving between 500,000 to one million frontline workers and their family members in seven provinces bordering Thailand their third dose.

Back in May, Singapore announced that the country was making plans for booster shots later this year or early next year, if necessary. Thailand also plans to provide its frontline workers with a booster shot of an imported mRNA vaccine.  

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

View all posts by Mette Larsen

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