COVID vaccines are not needed for healthy kids and teens, says World Health Organization

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Healthy children and teens likely won’t need it COVID-19 vaccinationsAccording to updated guidelines posted on the WHO website on Tuesday.

The World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Vaccination (SAGE) met last week to develop a revised roadmap for COVID vaccines.

The new roadmap identifies three priority groups – high, medium and low – based on “the risk of serious illness and death”. when infected with the virus.

Healthy children between the ages of 6 months and 17 years are now considered a low priority.

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For this group, the agency said, “traditional core vaccines” for diseases such as rotavirus, measles, polio and pneumococcus have a greater impact.

In the new roadmap, the agency also released updated guidance on COVID booster doses.

Healthy children and adolescents likely will not need COVID-19 vaccines, according to updated guidance posted on the World Health Organization website on Tuesday.

Healthy children and adolescents likely will not need COVID-19 vaccines, according to updated guidance posted on the World Health Organization website on Tuesday. (iStock)

Updated to reflect that much of the population has either been vaccinated or previously infected with COVID-19, or both, the revised roadmap reaffirms the importance of vaccinating those who remain at risk of serious illness, mostly the elderly This was stated by SAGE President Dr Hanna Nohaink in a press release on the WHO website.

Children with a weakened immune system or existing health conditions should get the vaccine.

“Countries should consider their specific context when deciding whether to continue vaccinating low-risk groups, such as Healthy children and adolescentswhile not compromising routine vaccinations which are so critical to the health and well-being of this age group.”

The World Health Organization's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Vaccination (SAGE) met last week to develop a revised roadmap for COVID vaccines.

The World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Vaccination (SAGE) met last week to develop a revised roadmap for COVID vaccines. (Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In the news release, SAGE encourages countries to consider factors including “disease burden, cost-effectiveness, health or other programmatic priorities and opportunity costs” when making decisions about vaccine requirements for healthy children and adolescents.

The World Health Organization says some children should still get the vaccine

The agency said children with weakened immune systems or existing health conditions should get the COVID vaccine because of the higher risk of serious illness.

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Additionally, the vaccine is recommended for infants younger than 6 months due to the burden of severe COVID-19 effects.

Guidance also calls for pregnant women To be fully vaccinated in order to fully protect the mother and fetus.

Healthy children between the ages of 6 months and 17 years are now considered "Low priority" COVID Vaccines, WHO Says.

The World Health Organization says healthy children between 6 months and 17 years old are now considered a “low priority” for COVID vaccines. (iStock)

Mark Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at the University of Michigan NYU Langone Medical Center and a medical contributor to Fox News, both agreed that children and teens are a lower priority for this vaccine unless they have obesity or other chronic diseases or are particularly at risk.

“The vaccine you had two or more years ago may be completely gone by now.”

“However, this change in prioritization is not the same as saying they shouldn’t get COVID vaccines,” he told Fox News Digital.

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“The question that has come up recently is how many COVID shots are enough,” Dr. Siegel continued.

“The difficulty with universities imposing them is that the vaccine you had two or more years ago may be completely gone by now.”

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He added, “Natural immunity after infection must be included in the calculation of immune protection, as well as the amount of COVID still present.”

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Additionally, vaccination has recently been shown to reduce the risk of prolonged COVID symptoms at all ages, Dr. Siegel noted.

“This means that the vaccine remains a valuable tool,” he said.

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released some updates to its childhood and adolescent immunization schedule, including: Addition of COVID-19 vaccines.

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