The World Health Organization (WHO) called, on Wednesday, for a hold on the use of COVID-19 booster shots until at least the end of 2021.
This recommendation aims at increasing vaccine access in countries with low vaccination rates, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, in a news conference. “I will not stay silent when companies and countries that control the global supply of vaccines think the world’s poor should be satisfied with leftovers,” he said, stressing that “low-income countries have been deprived of the tools to protect their people.” WHO has repeatedly criticized disparities in vaccination rates throughout the world, calling for a moratorium on boosters through the end of September.
“A month ago, I called for a global moratorium on booster doses, at least until the end of September to prioritize vaccinating the most at risk people around the world who are yet to receive their first dose,” Mr. Tedros said. “There has been little change in the global situation since then.”
In this respect, he lamented that vaccine-producing countries have only given 15% of the promised 1 billion doses. “We don’t want any more promises. We just want the vaccines.”