Immunosuppressed patients can now get a Covid booster in Latvia

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As of Wednesday, people with suppressed immunity can receive an additional vaccine against Covid-19, State Concil of Immunization said at a briefing September 15.

The National Health Service (NVD)'s leading expert on healthcare, Līga Gaigala, said that there are currently around 10,000 people identified who could receive an additional dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. The number can change with patients evaluated by doctors.

Dace Zavadska, head of the State Council of Immunization, said that the need for an additional dose of vaccine could be, for example, in people following organ transplantation, in patients receiving long-term dialysis procedures, HIV patients, and others.

The Council currently has no scientific basis on the need for an additional vaccine for other groups of society, regardless of age or health.

"Any decision on the recommendation for an additional dose should be based on reliable, adequate evidence. The benefits and risks for each individual and society must be taken into account," Zavadska said.

She said that the proportion of people getting the first and second dose should rather be extended instead of talking about an additional dose for the entire society.

Asked about other countries' experience, Zavadska said that many countries rely on small-scale studies on antibody count. She said there are currently insufficient studies and real-life examples where vaccinated people have become very severely ill, thereby showing that there has been a weakening of protection. Zavadska stressed that the vaccine is a medicine that cannot be used whenever desired. There should be justification for why the drug should be administered, and the council has no justification at the moment.

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