The World Health Organization’s (WHO) vaccine experts yesterday said that over-60s who have been completely vaccinated with China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccine should be offered an extra vaccine COVID-19 dose.
“For the Sinovac and Sinopharm inactivated vaccines, an additional (third) dose of the homologous vaccine should be offered to persons aged 60,” the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization said, adding that a different vaccine may also be considered, based on availability.
The UN health agency’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization also suggests that people who have weak immune systems should take an additional dose of all authorized Covid-19 vaccines but they are not endorsing an additional booster dose for the population at large.
To review the latest information and data on a series of vaccines for Covid-19 and other diseases, SAGE held a four-day meeting last week. SAGE emphasized that when executing the recommendation, the countries should aim at maximizing the two-dose coverage before administering the third dose, to start with the oldest age groups.
“SAGE recommended that moderately and severely immunocompromised persons should be offered an additional dose of all WHO EUL (emergency use listing) Covid-19 vaccines as part of an extended primary series.”
“These individuals are less likely to respond adequately to vaccination following a standard primary vaccine series and are at high risk of severe Covid-19 disease,” the group added.
It also said that for people fully vaccinated with Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, an additional third dose of the same jab “should be offered to persons aged 60 and above”.
A different vaccine “may also be considered based on vaccine supply and access considerations”.