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WHO Experts Say Healthy Kids And Low Risk Teens Don’t Need Boosters

The WHO’s vaccine experts revised the world’s recommendations for vaccination against Covid-19, and healthy children and teens considered lower priorities might not need a dose. The updated road map is designed to prioritize the Covid-19 vaccine for people with the greatest risks for death and serious illness, according to the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Immunization Experts (SAGE).

It was issued to reflect the omicron phase of the pandemic, as well as countries’ higher levels of immunity from both vaccines and infection, the group announced after its recent meeting.

The streamlined new recommendations are focused on the highest, middle, and lowest-risk groups. 

SAGE recommends an additional Covid-19 vaccine booster dose six to 12 months after a previous booster for high-risk groups, such as older adults, immunocompromised individuals of any age, frontline healthcare workers, and pregnant women. 

For people with moderate risk, the organization recommends the initial vaccine and the first booster, but does not recommend additional routine boosters.

This group includes children and teens with risk, as well as healthy adults younger than age about 60. 

For healthy children aged between six months and 17, this group says countries should evaluate vaccinations according to factors including the disease burden and the cost-effectiveness. 

The organization said its guidance for vaccinations is based on the epidemiological conditions currently in place, and may be modified as the pandemic develops.

It also comes as countries are making their own choices on vaccine recommendations, depending on their own vaccine supplies and progress. 

U.S. officials, for instance, are considering whether to give those who are at higher risk for severe Covid-19 a second bivalent booster. The UK and Canada have already started to let some people get another bivalent booster.

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