International authorities are falling out of love with boosters as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy, even as U.S. regulators continue unqualified promotion of the third shot for mRNA vaccines and second for Johnson & Johnson’s downgraded vaccine.
Reconsideration of the booster binge comes amid further scrutiny of rare but higher-than-expected — and possibly undercounted — heart inflammation reports following vaccination, particularly in boys and young men.
The World Health Organization all but accused wealthier countries of hoarding shots while large swaths of the globe, particularly Africa, have not received the “primary series” of vaccination against COVID.
Its Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition released an interim statement Tuesday on how the rise of the mild but immune-evasive Omicron variant should change booster considerations.
Even though Omicron’s “mutational profile and preliminary data indicate that vaccine effectiveness will be reduced against symptomatic disease … protection against severe disease is more likely to be preserved,” TAG-CO-VAC said.