An advisory group for the World Health Organization on Thursday recommended adjusting the formulation of booster doses for this year’s COVID-19 vaccines to target one of the currently dominant mutations of the coronavirus (XBB) strain.
The advisory group said that the new formulations should aim to stimulate an antibody response to the (XB 1.5) or (XB 1.16) mutants, adding that other formulations that stimulate an antibody response neutralizing the effect of the (X) strains could also be considered. .baby).
The group suggested that the original COVID-19 strain not be included in future vaccines, based on data that the original virus is no longer circulating in humans and that vaccines targeting the strain produce “very low or undetectable levels of neutralizing antibodies” due to the currently prevalent mutations.
COVID-19 vaccine makers, such as Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Novavax, are already developing versions of their vaccines that target XBB1.5 and other currently prevalent mutations.
The bivalent boosters developed and distributed last year targeted two different strains, the Omicron variant and the original virus.
The advisory group said that currently approved vaccines should continue to be used in accordance with WHO recommendations.
In late March, the organization revised its recommendations for coronavirus vaccination, noting that healthy children and adolescents may not necessarily need a shot, but that older and at-risk groups should receive a booster shot within six to 12 months after their last vaccine.
The latest recommendations come about two weeks after the World Health Organization ended the global emergency related to COVID-19.