Close-up medical syringe with a vaccine.

Rishard Khan

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The Ministry of Health’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) will meet next week to discuss implementing third doses of COVID-19 vaccines under certain conditions as recommended by the World Health Organisation’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (WHO SAGE) on Immunisation earlier this week.

Responding to a question by Guardian Media during a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram indicated the ministry was awaiting further technical details from SAGE but its TAG will be meeting to explore the implementation of the advice into the local vaccination framework.

According to the United Nations’ website, the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunisation recommended a third shot for people aged 60 and older who received the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines. It also recommends that moderately and severely immunocompromised people should be offered an additional dose of all WHO-approved vaccines.

“These individuals are less likely to respond adequately to vaccination following a standard primary vaccine series and are at high risk of severe COVID-19 disease,” it said.

A final report from the group is expected to be released in December.Dr Parasram clarified that SAGE’s recommendation is for a third dose to be administered- not a “booster”.