This interim guidance constitutes a major revision of the WHO SAGE roadmap for prioritizing uses of COVID-19 vaccines, first issued October 2020, and updated in November 2020 and July 2021. It is based on work conducted by the SAGE Working Group on COVID-19 Vaccines and SAGE members, from October 2021 to January 2022, including consultation with RITAG chairs, and dedicated discussions at extraordinary meetings of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization on 7 December 2021 and 19 January 2022 (1).
This revised Roadmap takes into account increasing vaccine availability, vaccine coverage rates, and the evolving epidemiological situation including COVID-19 variants of concern. Scenarios in which vaccination coverage exceeds 50% of the population are considered, as are topics such as vaccine use in children and adolescents and prioritization of additional and booster doses in relation to vaccination coverage rates. To assist countries in developing recommendations for optimized use of vaccines against COVID-19, priority-use groups for vaccination (both primary series and booster doses) are identified based on epidemiological scenarios, public health goals, and vaccine coverage scenarios (in accordance with WHO SAGE values framework for the allocation and prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination (2)).
This Roadmap is complementary to the Strategy to achieve global Covid-19 vaccination by mid-2022 (3) issued in September 2021, which was developed by WHO in collaboration with its COVAX partners and key regional and national stakeholders, and which specifies national vaccine coverage categories. The Roadmap emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the distribution of increasingly available vaccine supply to optimize impact on health, socioeconomic conditions, and equity, and focuses on in-country vaccine policies.
Declarations of interests were collected from all external contributors and assessed for any conflicts of interest. Summaries of the reported interests can be found on the SAGE meeting webpage and SAGE Working Group webpage.