KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 28): Clinical data showing a third dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine strongly increased protection against symptomatic Covid-19 will encourage countries to progress with booster dose campaigns, said Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research.

In a report Wednesday (Oct 27), Fitch however said that the same study did not provide data for a reduction in hospitalisation following a third dose.

“As supply continues to improve, we expect that restrictions on which segments of society are eligible for booster doses will gradually be removed,” it said.

Regardless, Fitch said the new data will support booster dose purchases and roll out.

It said there has been a wave of approvals for booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines over 2H21, particularly across developed markets (DMs).

However, in many cases so far these approvals have been restricted to vulnerable portions of populations.

In line with this, pensionable populations and those with compromised immune systems have been the initial target of roll out programmes.

“Looking forward, we expect that this could be opened up to larger segments of the adult population given the risks of a rise in cases over the Winter period in combination with waning protection and the ongoing spread of Delta,” said Fitch.

Fitch said constrained supply has significantly influenced vaccination decisions over 2021 given the impact on prices and in many cases slow deliveries.

“We expect that tight supply will continue to ease in light of manufacturing ramp-up over the remainder of 2H21 and 1H22.

“This will also encourage DMs to consider more broad administration of booster doses given a lower moral hazard of using doses that could otherwise be first vaccinations in lower-income countries.

“We expect that most DMs will slowly increase booster coverage, in line with easing supply over 1H22,” it said.

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