Those who think it is okay to use Omicron-specific booster doses in the fresh waves of COVID-19 infection

New Delhi, June 17: According to media reports, the World Health Organization recommends Omicron-specific booster doses in a wave of new infections with highly mutated Covid variants found in several countries, including India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. There is a possibility.

This move is a major shift in the mindset of global health agencies that have previously recommended opposition to the use of Covid boosters, as thousands of people, including healthcare workers in many low-income countries, have not yet received a single shot. Bringing.

Preliminary advice comes from the WHO Technical Group, as explained by two people who have knowledge of this issue and are contained in the documents viewed by the Financial Times.

The highly infectious Omicron mutant that emerged at the end of last year is known to evade vaccine immunity. In addition, the effectiveness of existing vaccines and boosters has been shown to decline rapidly, especially against Omicron. Monkeypox does not diffuse through the air like COVID-19: US CDC..

WHO did not answer the question, but the report said it “knows” that the statement from the technical group is “future.”

WHO’s actual policy recommendations are reportedly made by those with knowledge of this issue, as the safety of mutant-specific vaccines and other data will be available.

Moderna, Pfizer, and several others have announced Omicron-specific boosters, but variant-specific vaccines are not yet on the market.

Moderna said last week that the divalent booster triggered an increase in antibodies, which was safe and tolerable. And this week, the European Medicines Agency launched a rolling review of vaccines specific to the BioNTech / Pfizer variant.

WHO’s advice is “a signal to the industry to develop vaccines that broaden the immune response in addition to maintaining protection against severe illness,” said one person with knowledge of the matter. rice field. “Currently, we have only mRNA vaccines, so supply will be limited,” the report said.

Based on the available data, WHO estimates that omicron-specific boosters elicit a “wider” range of immune responses.

However, a third dose of the existing vaccine will still be used effectively.

“The relative benefits of these (mutant) specific vaccines and their costs are unknown,” he said. “(We) need to be careful not to think that these are better than existing vaccines.”

(The above story was first published on June 17, 2022 at 6:54 pm IST. Log on to our website for news and updates on politics, the world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle. please.

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