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World Health Organization: Teen COVID boosters unnecessary

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The World Health Organization (WHO) says there is not enough evidence to support healthy teens needing a COVID-19 booster shot. 

Several studies show vaccine immunity gradually wanes in both children and adults approximately six months after the shot series.

However, scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Pediatrics cite in a recent paper that healthy kids between the ages of 12 and 15 exhibit more robust protection even after antibodies decline compared to adults.

So, is there another reason why the WHO is asking countries to hold off on teen boosters? News 8 spoke with Dr. Brian Dixon at the Regenstrief Institute. 

“I think the WHO is trying to balance a number of things,” Dixon said. “They are trying to balance the equity of vaccines across the globe, and so they’re trying to [discourage], let’s say, teenagers in a wealthy county from going out and using doses of the vaccine that could be redistributed to countries where there’s low levels of primary vaccination.”

The United States is emphasizing the importance of protecting others. Boosting teens, Dixon says, is an effective way to keep the whole population at a high level of immunity.