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War Against Corona

Interim recommendations for Janssen COVID-19 vaccine use updated: WHO

The Australia government said on Sunday that the nation would cross the 46 million vaccinations by midday.
Vaccine vial. Stock photo: By Ali Raza/Pixabay

Geneva, Dec 10 (MNN) The WHO said on Friday that countries can now consider use of either a one- or two-course of Janssen vaccine for the treatment of Covid-19.  The one-dose schedule is an under Emergency Use Authorisation (EUL) regimen.

The World Health Organisation said that this follows updation of the interim recommendations on the use of Janssen’s Ad26.COV2.S vaccine for the treatment of Covid-19.

“In some circumstances, using one dose may have advantages.  Many countries face severe vaccine supply constraints, combined with a high disease burden. A single dose of the vaccine is efficacious and makes it possible to increase vaccine coverage rapidly, which in turn will reduce the burden on health care systems by preventing severe disease outcomes. A single dose may also be a preferred option for vaccinating hard-to-reach populations or populations living in conflict or insecure settings,” the world body said.

The WHO said that a second dose may be appropriate as vaccine supplies and/or accessibility increases. Countries should consider offering a second dose, beginning with the highest priority populations (e.g. healthcare workers, older people, people with comorbidities) as indicated in the WHO Prioritisation Roadmap.

The administration of the second dose will result in increased protection against symptomatic infection, and against severe disease.

A heterologous vaccine (COVID-19 vaccine from another vaccine platform that has received EUL) can also be considered for the second dose.

The WHO said that countries can also consider a longer interval between doses. A second dose two months after the initial dose substantially increases efficacy, especially against symptomatic infections, including when caused by SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, it added.

“An even longer interval between the two doses with Ad26.COV2.S (6 months rather than 2 months) has been shown to result in a larger increase in immune responses in adults.  Countries can therefore consider an interval of up to 6 months based on their epidemiological situation, and needs of sub-populations.”

The recommendations were developed on the basis of advice by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunisation and the evidence summary included in requisite document.


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