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Danish Center for Welfare Studies

COVID vaccine prioritization in low- and middle-income countries may justifiably depart from high-income countries’ age priorities

Authors: Nir Eyal, Anca Gheaus, Axel Gosseries, Monica Magalhaes, Thierry Ngosso, Bastian Steuwer, Viroj Tangcharoensathien, Isa Trifan, Andrew Williams
Published: Clinical Infectious Diseases, ciac398

In high-income countries that were first to roll out COVID-19 vaccines, older adults have thus far usually been prioritized for these vaccines over younger adults. Age-based priority primarily resulted from interpreting evidence available at the time, which indicated that vaccinating the elderly first would minimize COVID deaths and hospitalizations. WHO counsels a similar approach for all countries. This paper argues that some low- and middle-income countries that are short of COVID vaccine doses might be justified in revising this approach and instead prioritizing certain younger persons when allocating current vaccines or future variant-specific vaccines.

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