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WHO experts criticize ‘repeat recall’ strategy – RT World News

World Health Organization vaccine advisory body raised concerns over use of current Covid-19 vaccines as booster

Using the original Covid-19 vaccines as boosters against emerging variants is the wrong approach, a WHO expert group said, adding that the world needs new vaccines that protect against infection and transmission.

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

While some countries may recommend boosters, “The immediate priority for the world is to accelerate access to primary vaccination, in particular for the groups most at risk of developing a serious disease”, added the group, highlighting the “Need for equity in access to vaccines in all countries to achieve global public health goals.” “

While currently available vaccines focus on “Reduce serious illnesses and deaths, as well as protect health systems”, vaccines are needed “Which have a significant impact on the prevention of infections and transmission”. Until such vaccines are developed, existing vaccines may need to be updated to better target emerging viral variants such as Omicron, the group said.

Developers should work to create vaccines that “Obtain broad, strong and lasting immune responses in order to reduce the need for successive booster doses”, the TAG-Co-VAC urged.

On Tuesday, the head of the vaccine and biological health threats strategy at EMA, the European medicines regulatory agency, said he did not yet have enough data to recommend a second booster – the fourth vaccine to date – even as some countries have called for such a measure.

Marco Cavaleri said they were “Rather concerned about a strategy that involves repeated short-term vaccination”, adding that “We can’t really give a continuous booster every three or four months. “

The WHO has said Omicron could infect more than half of the EU’s population over the next two months and has urged authorities in the bloc not to treat the virus as endemic.

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