WHO Updates COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance

29 Mar 2023 • The World Health Organization on Tuesday changed its recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines, suggesting that high-risk populations should receive an additional dose 12 months after their last booster. The revised roadmap outlines three priority-use groups for COVID-19 vaccination: high, medium, and low. These priority groups are principally based on risk of severe disease and death, and consider vaccine performance, cost-effectiveness, programmatic factors and community acceptance.

  • The high priority group includes older adults; younger adults with significant comorbidities, people with immunocompromising conditions, including children aged 6 months and older; pregnant persons; and frontline health workers - for this group, SAGE recommends an additional booster of either 6 or 12 months after the last dose, with the timeframe depending on factors such as age and immunocompromising conditions.
  • The medium priority group includes healthy adults – usually under the age of 50-60 – without comorbidities and children and adolescents with comorbidities. SAGE recommends primary series and first booster doses for the medium priority group. Although additional boosters are safe for this group, SAGE does not routinely recommend them.
  • The low priority group includes healthy children and adolescents aged 6 months to 17 years. Primary and booster doses are safe and effective in children and adolescents. WHO urged countries to consider factors like disease burden before recommending vaccination of this group
  • SAGE also updated their recommendations on bivalent COVID-19 vaccines, now recommending that countries can consider using BA.5 bivalent mRNA vaccine for the primary series.

Source: WHO | Read full story

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