Coronavirus

São Paulo already planning fourth Covid booster shot

fourth booster shot brazil
People in line to take a third Covid shot. Photo: Paulo Pinto/Fotos Publicas

Health officials in the state of São Paulo are already convinced that it will be necessary for citizens to receive a fourth Covid shot, and have begun planning for future rollouts. 

The state is also reportedly prepared to begin immunizing children aged 5 to 11 as soon as the government signs off on it (which could happen as early as today). In 2020, Covid was the second-biggest cause of death among children of that age.

As a matter of fact, São Paulo would not be the first state in Brazil to roll out fourth vaccine shots. Three municipalities in the Greater Rio de Janeiro have already begun administering a fourth dose to immunocompromised citizens, such as cancer patients. And the northern city of Manaus is offering fourth doses to anyone who took a third dose more than four months prior.

Israel has begun rolling out fourth boosters, and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said it boosts antibodies five-fold one week after the shot is administered. But experts believe vaccinating billions of people every four to six months is neither sustainable or affordable — warning of “booster fatigue,” as has been the case in Israel, with fewer people showing up to vaccination centers at each new round.