The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that people most vulnerable to Covid-19, such as the elderly, will need to be vaccinated annually to protect against strains of the new coronavirus, according to an internal document obtained by Reuters. .
This assessment is included in a report to be discussed today at the GAVI Board of Directors meeting of the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, which coordinates the WHO Covid-19 Vaccination Program for COVAX. The forecast is subject to change and is accompanied by two other less likely scenarios.
Vaccine makers Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc., with German partner BioNTech, have repeatedly stated that people will soon need booster vaccines to maintain high levels of immunity, but the facts are still unclear.
The document also emphasizes that the WHO considers the annual vaccination for high-risk populations as the “indicative” scenario of its reference and biennial vaccination for the general population.
It does not say how these conclusions were drawn, but it does indicate that under the scenario, new variants of the virus will continue to appear and vaccines will be adapted regularly to address these threats.
The UN refused to comment on the contents of the internal document, and GAVI did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The June 8 document, which is still being “drafted”, also sets out as a key scenario that 12 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine will be produced worldwide next year.
This amount will be slightly higher than the forecast of 11 billion doses for the current year reported by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries (IFPMA), which means that the WHO does not expect a significant increase in vaccine production in 2022.