WHO calls for halting COVID-19 vaccine boosters in favor of unvaccinated

WHO calls for halting COVID-19 vaccine boosters in favor of unvaccinated

Aug 4 (Reuters) – 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.

The call for a moratorium is the strongest statement yet from the UN agency at a time when countries deliberate the need for boosters to combat the fast-spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus.

“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.