WHO says no evidence healthy children, adolescents need COVID-19 boosters

Photo Credit: Fabris Cofrini | Reuters

Currently, there is no evidence that healthy children and adolescents need booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, World Health Organization chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a news briefing, she said more research is needed to determine who needs a booster shot when vaccine immunity against a rapidly spreading omicron variant of the coronavirus appears to be declining over time.

“Currently there is no evidence that healthy children or adolescents need a booster. There is no evidence,” he said.

Israel began offering booster to 12-year-olds, and the US Food and Drug Administration earlier this month authorized the use of a third dose of the Pfizer and Bioentech Covid-19 vaccine for 12- and 15-year-olds.

Last week, Germany became the latest country to recommend that all children between the ages of 12 and 17 receive a COVID-19 booster shot. Hungary did too.

Swaminathan said a top group of WHO experts would meet this weekend to consider a specific question on how countries should consider boosting their populations.

“The goal is to protect the most vulnerable, the most vulnerable to serious illness and death. They are our elderly population, people who are immune-compromised with the underlying conditions, but also healthcare workers, “she said.

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