Boosters not needed for healthy children and adolescents

The World Health Organization recently declared that boosters are not necessary for children and adolescents in good health.

In a virtual press conference held by the World Health Organization (WHO) on January 18, Soumya Swaminathan, MD, WHO’s chief scientist, stated that booster shots for COVID-19 are not needed right now for children and adolescents in good health. “There is no evidence right now that healthy children or healthy adolescents need boosters, no evidence at all,” noted Swaminathan. “This is why SAGE [the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies] has been meeting, and will continue to meet to consider this specific question of how should countries think about giving boosters to their populations.”

The expert panel of physicians also offered other updates in battling COVID-19, including the fact that in some countries, cases seem to have peaked; that new formulations of vaccines are being developed and assessed for how they perform against Omicron and other strains; and a reminder that more mutations will be coming. “This won’t be the last variant of concern," notes Michael Ryan, MD, executive director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme. "Now is the time to support and invest in the surveillance systems that we have around the world so that we can test these variants, assess them with our partners around the world and improve the advice we give at a global level.”