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WHO Advisory Group Suggests Third Dose of Sinovac, Sinopharm

A World Health Organization advisory group says that individuals over the age of 60 who received either the Sinovac or the Sinopharm SARS-CoV-2 vaccines should receive a third vaccine dose, the Washington Post says.

China approved the Sinopharm vaccine in early January after the state-owned company found that the two-dose regimen had a 79 percent efficacy. In May, the WHO granted it emergency approval, a move the Post said at the time would bolster global vaccination rates and raise the profile of Sinopharm. The Post notes now that the WHO also granted such emergency listing to the Sinovac SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in June.

The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, the advisory group, issued recommendations following a meeting last week that certain individuals who received either of those vaccines should get a third dose of the same or different vaccine, the Post reports. It adds that they have framed this not as a booster shot but as an additional dose to raise individuals' response to the level expected, with a panel member saying that the vaccines appear to work less well in that age group.

The Post adds that the recommendation could affect the global vaccine supply.