Do healthy kids need booster shots against COVID? WHO's chief scientist answers

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Updated: Jan 19, 2022, 06:41 PM(IST)

World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Soumya Swaminathan, the chief scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO), said on Wednesday that there is "no evidence at all" that healthy children and adolescents require coronavirus illness booster shots (Covid-19).

Soumya Swaminathan, the top scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO), stated that there is no evidence that healthy children and adolescents require COVID-19 booster doses.

In the case of Omicron, she stated that each new variety does not necessitate the development of a new vaccination.

At a press conference on Wednesday, she said, "There is no evidence right now that healthy children or healthy adolescents need boosters," "No evidence at all."

This comes as other countries, including the United States, Germany, and Israel, have begun to distribute booster doses to children.

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In the meantime, India began vaccination of youngsters aged 15 to 18 years old earlier this month.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of a third dosage of the Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine as a "booster" shot for children aged 12 to 15 years earlier this month, putting the US in the lead in delivering booster doses to children. 

The WHO, on the other hand, has not totally discarded the need for booster doses in certain vulnerable groups of the population.

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According to Swaminathan, a group of renowned academics will meet later this week to discuss how governments should consider distributing boosters to their populations. 

"The aim is to protect the most vulnerable, to protect those at the highest risk of severe disease and death," she said. 

"Those are our elderly populations, immuno-compromised people with underlying conditions, but also healthcare workers."

(With inputs from agencies)

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