On Monday (11), the World Health Organization (WHO) started to recommend the booster dose of the Coronavac vaccine — developed by the pharmaceutical company Sinovac against covid-19 — and Sinopharm for people aged 60 years or more. In addition, immunosuppressed individuals vaccinated with any formula are able to receive a third dose against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
But the WHO still guides countries to prioritize the vaccination of the entire population with the two doses, before the application of boosters against covid-19. “In implementing this recommendation, countries should initially aim to maximize 2-dose coverage in this population and then administer the third dose, starting with older age groups,” he said.
According to the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE), the recommendation for the third dose was based on studies from Latin America that indicate a reduction in the effectiveness of inactivated (“killed”) virus vaccines over the course of months. For example, one of these studies was that of Chile. When available, the third dose should be administered between one to three months of the previous vaccination schedule (2 doses).
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Booster doses for the elderly and immunocompromised
In addition to the booster for the elderly, SAGE also commented that people with certain levels of immunosuppression should receive a booster dose of any of the WHO emergency-approved vaccines, when available. In this logic, the following formulas enter: Covishield (AstraZeneca/Oxford); Modern; (Janssen Johnson & Johnson); and Pfizer/BioNTech.
“This group is less likely to respond adequately to the initial vaccination schedule and is at high risk for developing covid-19 cases,” the WHO-associated group said in a statement.
Now, a new meeting with the committee has been scheduled for November 11th. The aim of the meeting will be to discuss new global recommendations for booster doses against covid-19. The challenge will be to balance the application of the third dose, while most poor countries have not even applied the first half of their populations.
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