WHO boosts approval of boosters but still emphasizes more primary vaccines

The World Health Organization on Tuesday offered fuller approval of coronavirus vaccine booster shots than it has done before, though it...


The World Health Organization on Tuesday offered fuller approval of coronavirus vaccine booster shots than it has done before, though it continued to emphasize the importance of increasing access. at initial doses in areas of the world that have been left behind in vaccination efforts. .

This broad endorsement comes as the WHO’s position on recalls continues to evolve. Last year he opposed booster shots for the general public, arguing that giving extra doses to people already vaccinated in wealthy countries was morally indefensible when billions of people in poor countries don’t had not yet received their first dose. This also supported additional doses only to immunocompromised peoplefor whom the first series of vaccines may be less effective.

Tuesday’s approval extends the organization’s previous guidelines on booster shots. It was released as part of a wider WHO assessment of vaccination efforts amid the surge caused by the Omicron variant, which may evade some of the protection given by vaccines and previous infections. to coronavirus.

The agency “strongly supports urgent and broad access to current Covid-19 vaccines for primary series and booster doses, especially for groups at risk of developing severe disease,” the organization said in a statement. . declaration.

On December 9, the WHO recommended that people who had received the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine should receive a second dose if possible, based on growing evidence that the vaccine worked best when given as two shots. January 11, It said that countries could recommend boosters, but that the most urgent priority was primary vaccination. On January 21, he recommended boosters of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine, starting with high-risk groups.

In August he asked a moratorium on recalls, and in September he urged leaders to extend this moratorium at least until the end of the year.

Geographic and economic disparities in vaccination rates remain stark: only 14% of people living in low-income countries have received a dose, according to the Our world in data project at Oxford University. Worldwide, this number is around 65%, and in some countries it exceeds 90%.

But the the science around boosters has changed with the virus, and the WHO’s increasingly pro-booster stance reflects this. Initial vaccine regimens are much less effective at preventing infection with the Omicron variant than with previous variants, and while they remain very good at preventing serious disease, their effectiveness on this front has also declined to a lesser extent. .

As a result, boosters have become an increasingly important tool against the virus.

Rebecca Robin contributed report.

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Newsrust - US Top News: WHO boosts approval of boosters but still emphasizes more primary vaccines
WHO boosts approval of boosters but still emphasizes more primary vaccines
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