Speaking at a news briefing on Tuesday, the World Health Organization's chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, said that there is at present no need to give booster shots against coronavirus to those under the age of eighteen.

"There is no evidence right now that healthy children or adolescents need boosters," she said. "No evidence at all."

She noted that while protection conferred by vaccination has been shown to wane over time, true of the Delta strain and probably even more so with the newer Omicron mutation, "more research" needs to be done to understand who needs a booster shot.

The Israeli Health Ministry has already begun offering boosters to the 12 to 18 age group, and the American FDA has authorized a third dose for adolescents as young as twelve.

Swaminathan added that the WHO's expert taskforce would be meeting later in the week to consider the specific question of how countries should consider giving boosters to their populations.