WHO experts issue recommendations on Moderna Covid-19 vaccine

26 January 2021 - 14:57 By Reuters
Boxes containing the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi, US December 20, 2020.
Boxes containing the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi, US December 20, 2020.
Image: Paul Sancya/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

A World Health Organisation (WHO) panel of experts recommended on Tuesday that the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine be given in two doses at an interval of 28 days, which could be extended under exceptional circumstances to 42 days.

The WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation, known as SAGE, issued a series of recommendations on Moderna, several weeks after issuing their guidance on the rival Pfizer shot.

After reviewing Moderna data the independent experts said that that vaccine not be used on pregnant women unless they are health workers exposed to the virus or have medical conditions putting them at high risk.

“The main recommendation for the use of this vaccine is that based on the current elements we recommend it should be given in doses of 100 micrograms or 0.5ml with an interval of 28 days,” Alejandro Cravioto, panel chair, told a news briefing in Geneva.

“This interval might be moved to 42 days but the evidence we have does not go beyond that time,” he said, speaking from Mexico.

WHO director of immunisation Kate O'Brien said that clinical trials of the Moderna vaccine were needed on pregnant women.

“There is no reason to think there could be a problem in pregnancy, we are just acknowledging the data is not there at the moment,” she said.

The WHO was liaising with Moderna on data it submitted as part of its application for WHO emergency use listing and would make a decision soon, she added.


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