WHO experts back extra COVID-19 jab for immunocompromised

WHO experts back extra COVID-19 jab for immunocompromised



The World Health Organization’s vaccine advisers on Monday; recommended people with weaker immune systems should be offered an additional dose of all authorised Covid-19 vaccines.


The UN health agency’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE); also said over-60s who have been fully immunised with China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccine should be offered an additional third Covid-19 vaccine dose.


The experts stressed they were not recommending an additional so-called booster dose for the population at large.


Several Covid-19 vaccines have been given WHO approval for emergency use during the pandemic: Pfizer-BioNTech, Janssen; Moderna, Sinopharm, Sinovac and AstraZeneca.


It is on the verge of deciding whether to give emergency use listing to India’s Bharat Biotech jab.

ALSO READ: COVID-19: Covaxin gets emergency use nod for children aged 2-18 years


SAGE held a four-day meeting last week to review; the latest information and data on a range of vaccines for Covid-19 and other diseases.


“SAGE recommended that moderately and severely immunocompromised persons should be offered an additional dose of all WHO EUL (emergency use listing) Covid-19 vaccines; as part of an extended primary series,” the group said.


“These individuals are less likely to respond adequately to vaccination following a standard primary vaccine series and are at high risk of severe Covid-19 disease.”


It also said that for people fully immunised with Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines; an additional third dose of the same jab “should be offered to persons aged 60 and above”.


A different vaccine “may also be considered based on vaccine supply and access considerations”.


SAGE added that when implementing this recommendation, countries should initially aim at maximizing two-dose coverage in that population, and thereafter administer the third dose starting in the oldest age groups.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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