Advisory group insists countries must aim at maximizing two-dose coverage
An extra Covid-19 vaccine shot should be offered to people aged 60 and above immunised with Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm doses, WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts or SAGE said.
The SAGE also said a third shot should be given to moderately and severely immune-compromised people vaccinated with any World Health Organization-authorised vaccine.
SAGE announced its recommendations following a review last week of data gathered since the WHO approved a handful of Covid-19 vaccines for emergency use.
The recommendation follows a four-day meeting of the SAGE on immunization. A final report will be issued in December this year.
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 two-dose coverage in that population, and thereafter administer the third dose, starting in the oldest age groups,” the group said.
The global COVID-19 vaccination strategy calls for inoculating 40% of people in all countries by the end of this year and 70% by the middle of 2022.
The strategy takes a three-step approach to vaccination. Priority is given to older people, health workers and high-risk groups of all ages, followed by adults and then adolescents.