Subunit vaccines contain fragments of proteins or polysaccharides of a pathogen which could elicit an immune response. Subunit vaccines do not contain live pathogens and are suitable for people who cannot receive live vaccines. Protein subunit COVID-19 vaccines platform contain vaccines created with fragments of proteins from SARS-CoV‑2.
These interim recommendations on the protein subunit vaccine platform for COVID-19 vaccines summarize previous interim recommendations for protein subunit COVID-19 vaccines. These were developed on the basis of advice issued by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) and the evidence summary included in the background document referenced below.
In the subsequent text, these vaccines will be referred to as protein subunit COVID-19 vaccines. Future interim recommendations will include additional protein subunit COVID-19 vaccines should such vaccines be licensed. In cases where a recommendation differs by product, product-specific names will be used. Timing, frequency and target populations for booster doses are derived from the revised 2023 WHO prioritization roadmap on the use of COVID‑19 vaccines.