Saturday, 29th January 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

Repeated Covid boosters not a viable strategy: WHO

WHO experts warned Tuesday that repeating booster doses of the original Covid vaccines is not a viable strategy against emerging variants and called for new jabs that better protect against transmission.

A nurse administers a Covid-19 vaccine to a person at the Palais des Sports vaccination centre in Yaounde on January 6, 2022. – A Covid-19 vaccine is one of the keys to being able to go to the stadium and cheer on the Cameroonian team, the host country of the African Cup of Nations (CAN) of soccer. Many Cameroonians are overcoming their reluctance to be vaccinated, one of the two conditions to attend the games, in addition to a negative PCR test of less than 72 hours or antigenic test of 24 hours. (Photo by Daniel Beloumou Olomo / AFP)

WHO experts warned Tuesday that repeating booster doses of the original Covid vaccines is not a viable strategy against emerging variants and called for new jabs that better protect against transmission.

An expert group created by the World Health Organization to assess the performance of Covid-19 vaccines said simply providing fresh jabs of existing Covid vaccines as new strains of the virus emerge was not the best way to fight the pandemic.

“A vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable,” the WHO Technical Advisory Group on Covid-19 Vaccine Composition (TAG-Co-VAC) said in a statement.

It said preliminary data indicated the existing vaccines were less effective at preventing symptomatic Covid disease in people who have contracted the new Omicron variant, currently spreading like wildfire around the world.

But protection against severe disease, which is what the jabs were especially intended to do, “is more likely to be preserved”.

It recommended developing vaccines that not only protect people against falling seriously ill but could also better prevent infection and transmission in the first place.

“Covid-19 vaccines that have high impact on prevention of infection and transmission, in addition to the prevention of severe disease and death, are needed and should be developed,” TAG-Co-VAC said.

“Until such vaccines are available, and as the SARS-CoV-2 virus evolves, the composition of current Covid-19 vaccines may need to be updated, to ensure that (they) continue to provide WHO-recommended levels of protection against infection and disease by VOCs (variants of concern), including Omicron and future variants.”