The WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) has provided interim policy recommendations for the usage of French company Valneva’s Covid-19 vaccine, VLA2001. 

According to the recommendations, two 0.5ml intramuscular doses of the vaccine are intended to be given as part of the initial dosing regimen. The second dose should be given a minimum of 28 days following the first shot.    

The vaccine is said to be safe and effective for all people aged 18 to 50 years.

With limited data available on the Valneva vaccine’s immunogenicity in people aged 50 years and older, it is not advised for usage in this age group. 

Furthermore, there exists no information on the safety or efficacy of the vaccine in people aged under 18 years. Therefore, the vaccine is not presently indicated for use in this age group.

In line with the WHO Prioritization Roadmap, highest and high-priority-use groups such as healthcare workers, elderly adults and people with comorbidities can receive a booster vaccine dose four to six months following the primary vaccine regimen. 

A second booster dose is advised for people at increased risk of severe disease.

After primary vaccination with an mRNA vaccine, the Valneva vaccine cannot be used as a heterologous booster.

This vaccine could be used for heterologous boosting following the completion of the initial series with AstraZeneca’s ChAdOx1-S vaccine.

In July, the European Commission (EC) granted approval for an amendment to the advance purchase agreement for Valneva’s VLA2001.

The move follows remediation discussions based on the notice sent to the company on termination of the initial agreement for procuring vaccine doses this year and optional doses for next year.