Covid: WHO recommends 3rd dose for immunocompromised

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended for third dose of immunocompromised, following a four-day meeting of the “Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization”.  The final report on the matter will be issued in December.

Key Points

  • According to SAGE, moderately & severely immunocompromised persons should be given an additional dose of all WHO-approved vaccines.
  • This recommendation was made because these individuals are less likely to respond to vaccination following a standard primary vaccine series. They are also at the high risk of severe COVID-19 disease.
  • SAGE also recommends that, people aged 60 and older who are receiving Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines should get the third dose as well. However, use of other vaccines can also be considered on the basis of supply and access.
  • While implementing this recommendation, Countries should maximize 2-dose coverage in that population. Countries should administer the third dose, starting with the oldest age groups.
  • SAGE also reviewed a vaccine developed by ‘Bharat Biotech’ and will issue a policy recommendation after WHO will allow its emergency use.

Global vaccine strategy by WHO

WHO also announced a Global vaccine strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring all people across the world have access to vaccines. This strategy calls for inoculating 40 per cent of people across the countries by the end of 2021 and 70 per cent by 2022. It provides for a three-step approach for vaccination. Under the strategy, priority will be given to older people, high-risk groups of all ages and health workers, followed by adults and then adolescents.

Malaria vaccine

SAGE along with WHO advisory group on malaria reviewed the evidence on world’s first malaria vaccine. They recommended to use RTS,S/AS01 vaccine in areas with moderate to high transmission of the malaria.

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