WHO calls for booster shots to be suspended while poor countries face vaccine shortages
The World Health Organisation has called for the administration of third, or booster doses, of Covid-19 vaccines to be suspended to deal with the huge inequality in global distribution. The organisation says booster shots should be halted until at least the end of September until the inequity in distribution between rich and poor countries is addressed.
WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says countries that have already availed of most of the world’s supply of Covid-19 vaccines must take steps to ensure poorer nations get more doses.
“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, while the world’s most vulnerable people remain unprotected. We need an urgent reversal, from the majority of vaccines going to high-income countries, to the majority going to low-income countries.”
According to an AFP report, over 4.25 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered around the world. In countries classified as high-income by the World Bank, 101 doses per 100 people have been administered as of this week. In the world’s 29 poorest countries, that figure is 1.7 doses per 100 people. Tedros says this inequality can be addressed by temporarily suspending the administration of booster doses.
“Accordingly, WHO is calling for a moratorium on boosters until at least the end of September, to enable at least 10% of the population of every country to be vaccinated. To make that happen, we need everyone’s cooperation, especially the handful of countries and companies that control the global supply of vaccines.”
He is calling on the G20 countries to step up, as they are the largest producers, consumers, and donors of Covid-19 vaccines and can influence the course of the pandemic.
“It’s no understatement to say that the course of the Covid-19 pandemic depends on the leadership of the G20.”
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