| 17 September 2021, Friday |

WHO calls for moratorium on COVID-19 vaccine booster doses

The World Health Organization is advocating for a COVID-19 vaccine booster ban until at least the end of September, according to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the organization’s director-general.

According to WHO Director-General Tedros, the decision was made to ensure that at least 10% of the population of each country got vaccinated.

As the disparity in inoculation rates in wealthy and poor nations widens, the UN agency has issued its strongest plea yet to cease COVID-19 vaccine boosters.

“I appreciate that all governments are concerned about protecting their citizens from the Delta variety. However, we cannot allow countries who have already consumed the majority of the world vaccination supply to consume even more “Tedros went on to say.

According to WHO, high-income countries administered roughly 50 doses per 100 individuals in May, and that number has now increased. Due to a paucity of supplies, low-income countries have only been able to provide 1.5 doses per 100 individuals.

“We urgently need a shift from high-income nations receiving the majority of vaccines to low-income countries receiving the majority of vaccines,” Tedros added.

Some countries have begun to use or started weighing on the need for booster doses.

Germany said on Monday it will in September start to offer a booster shot to vulnerable people. The United Arab Emirates will also start providing a booster shot to all fully vaccinated people considered at high risk, three months after their second vaccine dose, and six months for others.

The United States in July signed a deal with Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech to buy 200 million additional doses of their COVID-19 vaccines to help with pediatric vaccination as well as possible booster shots.

U.S. health regulators are still assessing the need for a booster dose.