The World Health Organization is calling for a halt on COVID-19 vaccine boosters until at least the end of September, its head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday, as the gap between vaccinations in wealthy and poor countries widens. This report produced by Jillian Kitchener.
Reuters – WHO is calling for a moratorium on boosters until at least the end of September to enable at least 10 percent of the population of every country to be vaccinated.”
The World Health Organization on Wednesday called for a pause in booster shots to the already fully vaccinated to focus on countries where supply is low… as the more-infectious Delta variant threatens areas with low vaccination rates and strains healthcare systems.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday called for an urgent reversal of vaccine distribution to meet the needs of poorer countries:
“I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant. But we cannot and we should not accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it…”
According to the WHO, low-income countries have only been able to administer 1.5 doses for every 100 people, due to lack of supply… a number far lower than in high income countries.
“It’s a false choice…”
But White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pushed back Wednesday, saying the U.S. is prepared to provide some Americans with booster shots, if approved by regulators… and can continue to donate vaccines.
“We announced just yesterday that we hit an important milestone of over 110 million vaccines donated to the world.” (flash) “We’ve taken action on the global level, far more than any country around the world. We’re asking the global community to also step up.”
The United States in July signed a deal with Pfizer and BioNTech to buy 200 million additional doses of their COVID vaccine to help with pediatric vaccination as well as possible booster shots.
With the fast-spreading Delta variant, some countries like Israel have already begun to administer booster shots to people over the age of 60… While others, like the U.S., are still debating whether they are, at this point, necessary.