WHO experts urge exploring updated COVID-19 vaccines


A World Health Organization (WHO) advisory group set up in September to examine the impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants on vaccine performance laid out a framework today for assessing updated versions of COVID-19 vaccines, and the experts urged manufacturers to gather and share data on how well current and variant-specific vaccines hold up.

In other developments today, WHO officials in Europe warned that Omicron (B.1.1.529) activity is expanding eastward, carrying the biggest threats to countries with low vaccination levels. And South African researchers said Omicron spreads more easily from asymptomatic people, part of what’s likely driving its exponential spread.

Options for vaccine updates

In a statement today, the WHO’s COVID-19 vaccine composition advisory group said broader access to current vaccines is needed—to both primary doses and booster shots—to help curb the emergence and impact of new variants of concern.



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