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WHO Advices Additional Vaccine Shot for Immunocompromised

Monday, October 11, the World Health Organization recommended that immunocompromised people be given an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Due to their higher risk of breakthrough infections after standard immunization, people whose immune systems are diminished should get another shot if they initially received vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, the Serum Institute of India, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, and Sinovac.

Dr. Alejandro Cravioto, the committee’s chair, said that people with compromised immune systems “need a third dose as an additional priming process so that they’re fully protected.”

W.H.O. officials have previously said that they supported additional vaccine doses for immunocompromised people who were not sufficiently protected from a standard vaccination regimen and some countries.

Dr. Katherine O’Brien, Director of the W.H.O.’s Department of Immunization, vaccines, and biologicals, called the panel’s recommendation “a distinct thing from giving additional doses, booster doses, to people who have had an adequate primary response to vaccination.”

Those boosters, she said, are “like putting two life jackets on somebody and leaving other people without any life jackets. So in this sense, we’re talking about getting the first life jacket on to people who have immunocompromising conditions.”

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