Introduction of COVID vaccine boosters subject to WHO recommendation

Vanuatu will introduce booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine once the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends it, said Acting Director of Curative and Hospital Services, Dr. Sereana Natuman.

Some countries have been administrating booster shots to their elderly population, those with weak immune system and deemed most-at-risk.

Other countries are planning to roll out booster shots. A booster is an additional dose of vaccine taken after the original shots, to maintain immunity level.

Currently, boosters are being recommended for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Dr. Natuman said there is no recommendation from WHO on boosters for Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccines being administered in Vanuatu.

“However, we will have to introduce booster doses once WHO recommends it, to restore antibody immunity,” she said.

So far, the only recommendation is two jabs for Sinopharm and AstraZeneca, she added.

The Acting Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Health (MOH), Dr. Samuel Posikai, has said there are plans of bringing additional vaccine such as Pfizer for adolescents and the single-shot Johnson and Johnson, to be used in remote areas.

Both Sinopharm and AstraZeneca are used on people 18 years and above.

The second dose of AstraZeneca is given after 10 weeks while the second Sinopharm dose is given after three weeks.

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