WHO says there’s no evidence healthy children and adolescents need Covid boosters

World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan attends a press conference organised by the Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020.

Fabrice Coffrini | Reuters

WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said Tuesday “there’s no evidence right now” that suggests healthy children and adolescents need booster shots to supplement their Covid-19 vaccinations.

Swaminathan said the agency’s advisory group, called Sage, or the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, will meet later this week to consider how countries should think about giving booster shots.

“The aim is to protect the most vulnerable, to protect those at highest risk of severe disease and dying, those are our elderly population, immunocompromised with underlying conditions and also health care workers,” Swaminathan said.

Speaking during a World Health Organization media briefing, Swaminathan’s comments come roughly two weeks after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved booster shots for adolescents aged 12 to 17 amid the current surge in coronavirus cases due to the highly contagious omicron variant.

The surge has also led to a sharp rise in pediatric cases. For the week ending Jan. 6, more than 580,000 child coronavirus cases were reported, marking a 78% increase from the week ending Dec. 30, according to the last updated data from American Academy of Pediatrics.