WHO advisory group recommends Covid booster shot for immunocompromised

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People with weaker immune systems should receive an additional shot of approved COVID-19 vaccines, an advisory group to the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

The recommendation follows a four-day meeting of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization. A final report will be issued in December.

SAGE said moderately and severely immunocompromised persons should be offered an additional dose of all WHO-approved vaccines “since 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.”

People aged 60 and older who received the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines should get a third dose too, the experts added, though use of other vaccines may also be considered depending on supply and access. “When implementing this recommendation, countries should initially aim at maximizing 2-dose coverage in that population, and thereafter administer the third dose, starting in the oldest age groups”, they said.