WHO calls for halting COVID-19 vaccine boosters

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The World Health Organization is calling for a halt on COVID-19 vaccine boosters until at least the end of September.

WHO Chief, Tedros Ghebreyesus made the call on Wednesday, as the gap between vaccinations in wealthy and poor countries widens.

Ghebreyesus said while he understands the concern of all people to protect their citizens, there is a need to make vaccines available for low income countries

“I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant. But we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it,” Tedros added.

High-income countries administered around 50 doses for every 100 people in May, and that number has since doubled, according to WHO. Low-income countries have only been able to administer 1.5 doses for every 100 people, due to lack of supply.

“We need an urgent reversal from the majority of vaccines going to high-income countries to the majority going to low-income countries,” Tedros said.

“The fact that we are vaccinating healthy adults with a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines is a short-sighted way of thinking,” said Elin Hoffmann Dahl, infectious diseases medical adviser to Medecins Sans Frontieres’ access campaign.

“With the emergence of new variants, if we continue to leave the majority of the world unvaccinated, we will most definitely need adjusted vaccines in the future,” Dahl told Reuters.

Last week, Israeli President Isaac Herzog received a third shot of coronavirus vaccine, kicking off a campaign to give booster doses to people aged over 60 in the country.



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