The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that healthy adults do not need an additional dose of vaccines against covid-19, beyond the basic vaccination and a booster dose, as the health benefits of further doses are small.
For those under 60 with average health risk, as well as for children and adolescents 6 months to 17 years of age with comorbidities, there is no risk from receiving extra booster doses, but "the health benefits are small".
WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) released its updated recommendations after meeting this week.
The new SAGE recommendations reflect the effects of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and the high level of immunity that the world's population now has thanks to infections and high vaccination rates, the WHO noted.
SAGE proposes three new categories for prioritizing covid vaccination based on a person's risk of developing severe disease or dying: high, medium, or low.
Conversely, the elderly, adults with comorbidities, the immunocompromised, pregnant women and health workers are asked to take extra booster doses. SAGE recommends an interval of 6 to 12 months between booster doses depending on comorbidity.
However, there is "no relevance" when it comes to data on the effects of covid vaccines in preventing long-term covid.
Almost 13,3 billion doses of covid vaccines have been administered worldwide.
WHO is researching new vaccines that cover a wide range of variant strains, have longer duration and better results in preventing infection and disease transmission.
At the same time, it examines new methods of administering the vaccines, such as through the nose, orally or through the skin.