There are currently no plans to give a booster jab to people who have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, the health ministry said on Monday.
Despite the decision to vaccinate some groups of the population with a third dose of a vaccine against Covid-19, the goal was for all people over 12 to be fully vaccinated, the ministry said.
People given priority for the booster jab are residents and employees in nursing homes, people over 65, health professionals and the immunocompromised.
The third dose, based on the available data, concerns people who have completed their vaccination programme with two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines.
“No booster dose is given to people who have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine,” the health ministry said. It added that the third dose will be administered six months after the second dose was administered.
In people receiving immunosuppressive treatment, the booster shot is administered at least four weeks after the second dose and in a way that does not affect their treatment.
But on September 1 the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention stated that: “It is likely that people who received a J&J Covid vaccine will need a booster dose.” But because the J&J/Janssen vaccine wasn’t given in the US until 70 days after the first mRNA vaccines, the data needed to make a decision simply isn’t available yet. The CDC is expected to keep the public informed about a plan for J&J/Janssen booster shots.
The health ministry said the booster jabs for the groups given priority will be gradual process and based on availability.
People over the age of 65 can receive a booster shot by arranging an appointment through the health ministry’s vaccination portal but priority will be given to older ages.
“The opportunity for every age will be given gradually, starting from the older ages,” the health ministry said. It added that a schedule for age groups to register would be given at a later stage.
People under 65 are to be given the opportunity to receive a booster shot at a later date.
Health professionals can receive the third dose after group appointments with priority being given to those treating Covid patients and working in ICUs and A&E departments.
As regards immunocompromised people, priority will be given to patients being treated for cancer, people that have had organ transplants and are receiving immunosuppressive therapy, people with inherited immune deficiency or with HIV.
The vaccination of these groups of patients will be done gradually, through telephone appointment.