December 5, 2022

WHO finally recommends booster shots, vaccines for children

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Here are endorsed revisions to the WHO SAGE Roadmap for Prioritizing Uses of COVID-19 Vaccines, taking into account increasing vaccine availability, vaccine coverage rates, and the evolving epidemiological situation including variants of concern.

Highlights:

  • Draws from comprehensive evidence reviews conducted during Q4 of 2021;
  • Considers scenarios in which vaccination coverage exceeds 50% of the population;
  • Includes topics such as vaccine use in children and adolescents, as well as prioritization of additional and booster doses in relation to vaccination coverage rates;
  • Expands further in lower priority use groups; and
  • Develops the concept of optimized vaccine use.

Key conclusions:

  • Countries with low rates of primary series coverage should first achieve high primary series coverage rates among the higher priority-use groups before offering vaccine doses to lower priority-use groups;
  • Countries with moderate-to-high primary series coverage in higher priority-use groups should preferentially prioritize available vaccine supply to first achieve high booster dose coverage in higher priority-use groups before offering vaccine doses to lower priority-use groups.

Updated Interim recommendations for use of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Key revisions:

  • Extends of the age indication down to the age of 5 years with a vaccine of reduced dosage (10 µg instead of 30 µg); and
  • Recommends booster dose vaccination starting with the highest priority-use groups (e.g. older adults and health workers), 4 to 6 months after the completion of the primary series.

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