WHO Experts Recommend Third Booster to Supplement Chinese Vaccines
Inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate produced by Beijing Institute of Biological Products and Sinopharm Group.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) has recommended that people over the age of 60 who received the Chinese Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, should get a third shot – possibly with another vaccine.

“The use of a heterologous platforms vaccine for the additional dose may also be considered based on vaccine supply and access considerations,” according to a preliminary report from last week’s SAGE meeting, an indication that the experts believe that stronger immune responses may be initiated when a different vaccine is used.

“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.”

Scrupulously avoiding calling them boosters, SAGE also recommended that third doses should be offered to “moderately and severely immunocompromised persons” as part of “an extended primary series”.

SAGE also reviewed Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 Vaccine, Covaxin, and would issue a policy recommendation when the vaccine is Emergency Use Listed (EUL) by WHO – an indication that EUL is close.

SAGE also recommends that all countries consider implementing seasonal influenza vaccination based on the burden of disease, the cost-effectiveness, competing public health priorities, and programmatic feasibility. 

For countries implementing seasonal influenza vaccinations, SAGE recommended prioritising health workers, people with chronic medical conditions, older adults and pregnant women.


Image Credits: Sinopharm.

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