Altstein called the decision of the British Ministry of Health to halve the revaccination period by half to shorten the revaccination period from six to three months is at least strange if it is based only on the emergence of the omicron strain. The Russian scientist shared his opinion in an interview with Lenta.ru.
Earlier, the British Ministry of Health decided to reduce the period of revaccination against COVID-19 from six to three months. The head of the Ministry of Health Sajid Javid announced this on his Twitter account.
Javid said that he accepted the JCVI's recommendation to halve the interval between the main course of immunization against coronavirus and revaccination. Also, according to the committee's advice, the Ministry of Health will offer additional booster doses to all citizens over 18 years old and a second injection of the drug for children from 12 to 15 years old.
It's all about the delta
Altstein said that it is not yet reliably known to what extent the existing vaccines protect against the detected omicron strain. In this regard, it is almost pointless to take such a step as reducing the revaccination period from six to three months. “I must tell you that if this decision is determined by the omicron, then this is a rather strange step. We do not yet know if vaccines protect against omicron. If not, then no matter how much you vaccinate, everything will be useless, “he said.
The chief researcher at the Gamaleya Research Center suggested why the British Ministry of Health took such a step. In his opinion, the decision to halve the revaccination period was dictated primarily by the desire of the authorities to protect people from the delta variant of the coronavirus. “I think this is done in order to excite people, because they are afraid of the words omicron, and to induce them to additional vaccinations, which is primarily needed against the delta strain,” Altstein explained.
< p> He added that the Israeli experience is most likely the basis for such a decision by the British Ministry of Health. “Israel showed that when they vaccinated their population with Pfizer, their coronavirus disappeared, after a month and a half a delta appeared, everything resumed, but the revaccination helped, the incidence fell. I think that based on this, the British want to conduct more frequent revaccinations in order to affect the delta in the first place, “he suggested.
Earlier, Anatoly Altstein called the conclusions that the existing vaccines against coronavirus are less effective against the detected omicron-strain. According to him, such statements will be appropriate in two to three weeks, after the relevant research has been carried out.