WHO : Booster dose should begin with the most vulnerable
In a shift from its earlier stand on booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday said that individuals who are most vulnerable must be prioritised for the additional jab. The latest guidelines have been revised by the WHO’s principal advisory group the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE).
The UN health agency said it was now recommending booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, beginning in the highest-priority groups, about four to six months after receiving the first two doses, in line with guidance from dozens of countries that embarked upon booster programs months ago.
Boosters are part of the vaccination program, but it doesn’t mean unfettered use to all ages, said WHO’s Dr Kate O’Brien, director of immunisation, vaccines and biologicals. We continue to have highest focus on vaccination of highest priority groups, she said.
The WHO had previously said the general public doesn’t need Covid boosters, and that the expansion of such programs limits supply for poorer countries and could prolong the pandemic.