Everything you need to know about the third dose in Colombia

Since this Wednesday, November 24, the third dose vaccination was approved for all people over 18 years of age in Colombia. However, immunization will be done progressively according to the groups and stages determined by the National Vaccination Plan. We tell you everything you need to know to access your booster dose. (In context: Colombia approves third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for people over 18 years of age)

Why will there be a third dose?

The application of a third dose has been shown to increase the immune response and the effectiveness of vaccines against COVID-19 in adults, including protection against severe forms of the disease, but also against contagion and transmission.

In addition, the Ministry of Health rescued, “the incorporation of all adults aged 18 years and over to the allocation of reinforcements contributes to collective immunity”, taking into account the appearance of more contagious variables and that, some of them, could have potential to evade immune response. (We recommend: And what happened to the fourth peak of coronavirus?)

Who can access the third dose?

According to the information provided by the ministry, each citizen over 18 years of age who has completed their vaccination schedule against COVID-19 will be able to receive the booster dose. For people over 50 years old, the third dose vaccination can be done four months after having completed their schedule against COVID-19, and for people between 18 and 49 years old it can be done once the six months have been completed of the second dose.

When can I apply the third dose?

The application of the booster dose will also be done in stages. In this sense, the Minister of Health clarified that from today, November 24, all those who were part of the Stage 1 and Stage 2 groups prioritized in the National Vaccination Plan, will be able to go for their reinforcement at the vaccination points. (You can read more coronavirus and health news here)

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On the other hand, for the population between 18 and 49, for which the possibility of applying the booster dose has also been opened, the process will be carried out depending on the moment in which the second dose was applied, the minister explained. We insist: the booster dose should be applied six months after the vaccination schedule has ended. For this, phases and stages were determined.

What are the new phases to apply the third dose?

Phase 1, Stage 1 will allow the application of the booster dose to the population between 18 and 49 years of age: human talent in health and its logistical support staff, human talent in health from the vaccination service, technicians and epidemiologists from the territorial entities.

Phase 1, stage 2, will include the previous population and traditional doctors and ancestral experts, pilots and national crew who carry out specialized air transport of patients and other groups prioritized in Decree 630 of 2021.

All people in these groups will be able to start getting vaccinated from today, Wednesday, November 24.

Phase 1, stage 3 begins on December 21, 2021. It includes teachers, directors and educational personnel, military forces and police, indigenous and maroon guard, people between 16 and 59 years old with prioritized comorbidities, mothers and fathers from the ICBF community. , human talent in charge of the care and care of the elderly, personnel of the Personnel Search Unit, highest health authorities at the national, municipal, district and departmental levels and human talent of funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries that handle corpses.

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Phase 2, with which the vaccination stage 4 will begin, will begin on January 18, 2022. There, people deprived of liberty, people between 40 and 49 years old, population in high occupations will be able to access the booster dose. risk, street dwellers, human talent from family police stations, among others.

Finally, stage 5 of vaccination will begin on February 16, 2022, and will include the entire population 18 years of age and older that has received their second or single dose at least six months ago.

With what vaccine will the third dose be?

The Health portfolio has explained that the booster vaccination will be done in a “heterologous” way. This means that it will be done with a different vaccine than the one that was given to the person initially.

In this sense, if the person received the Sinovac vaccine, the recommendation is that the booster dose be with AstraZeneca or Moderna. If the person was vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca is also recommended for the booster dose. With Janssen: Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna; and with Sinovac: Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna. Similarly, Minister Ruiz clarified that if a person was initially vaccinated with Sinovac, and wants the booster dose with Sinovac “it can be applied, but the recommendation is that we change the vaccine, because the change generates a greater response.”

Likewise, Minsalud Resolution 1866 of 2021 establishes that populations will be able to access a booster dose with a homologous biological when the initial scheme used was inactivated virus, viral vector or mRNA; or with a heterologous biological, with mRNA platform or viral vector, when the initial scheme was mRNA platform vector, viral vector or inactivated virus. The following table summarizes it and explains it better:

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If I was vaccinated abroad, can I access the third dose?

Those who applied their initial vaccination schedule abroad will not have to leave the country again to receive their booster dose. They will be able to acquire it in Colombia.

To do so, citizens must approach their IPS to report that they received their vaccination schedule outside the country. These data will be uploaded to the “My Vaccine” web application and, subsequently, taking into account the aforementioned vaccination stages, they will be able to access their booster dose.

Are there enough vaccines?

Minister Fernando Ruiz affirmed that the country has 11 million vaccines available. “It is more than enough,” he reiterated. It is expected that by the end of December at least 70% of the Colombian population will be vaccinated with two doses.

Will it still be free?

Vaccination against COVID-19 has been, is and will continue to be free in Colombia. “The Government has covered the vaccine for all Colombians and will continue to cover vaccination, because this is essential for life,” he reiterated.


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