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WHO recommends additional COVID-19 vaccine for immunized people

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There are currently around 3.5 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines given (File)

Geneva:

The World Health Organization on Monday recommended that immunized people be given an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, due to the high risk of breakthrough infection after standard vaccination.

The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization stated that additional doses should be offered “as part of an expanded primary series because these individuals are less likely to respond adequately to vaccination following the standard primary vaccine series.” and are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease”.

WHO Director of Vaccines Kate O’Brien, referring to people with reduced immunity due to other conditions, said at a news briefing: “The recommendation is for a third vaccination, an additional vaccination in the primary series and again with evidence showing this. Evidence on immunogenicity and breakthrough infection is highly disproportionately represented by those.”

The panel also recommended that people over 60 receive an additional dose of shots made by Chinese vaccine makers Sinopharm and Sinovac about one to three months after completing their schedule, citing evidence in studies in Latin America. that they perform less well over time.

Observational data on the Sinofarm and Sinovac shots “clearly showed that in the older age groups … the vaccine performed less well after two doses”, said Joachim Hombach, secretary of the independent panel of experts, which has taken the last five-day shutdown. The door meeting was held. Week.

“We also know that adding a third dose or going to a two-plus-one schedule elicits a stronger (immune) response. So we expect better protection from there,” he said.

The panel said health officials using the SinoPharm and Sinovac vaccines should first maximize two-dose coverage in the older population and then administer a third dose.

O’Brien said the SAGE group, made up of independent experts who make policy but do not make regulatory recommendations, will review all global data on booster shots at its November 11 meeting.

O’Brien said there are currently about 3.5 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines given.

There are an estimated 1.5 billion doses available each month around the world, enough to meet the goal of immunizing 40% of each country’s population by the end of the year, but the distribution is uneven, he said.

O’Brien said, “Giving a booster dose to people who have already benefited from the primary response is like putting two life jackets on one and leaving others without a lifejacket.”

“In that sense we’re talking about getting the first lifejackets on people who have immunological conditions.”

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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