The World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling for a two-month moratorium on booster shots to ensure that at least a tenth of the population of every country fully vaccinated by the end of September.
"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," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a news briefing in Geneva on Wednesday (Aug 4).
“We need an urgent reversal from the majority of vaccines going to high-income countries, to the majority going to low income countries,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added.
The moratorium sought by Ghebreyesus is part of WHO's plan to vaccinate 40% of the world by December, according to his senior advisor, Dr. Bruce Aylward.
“Right now, if you look at how vaccines are being used globally, the uptake rate by high-income countries, upper-middle-income countries, is absorbing too much of the global supply for the lowest-income countries,” Aylward said.
The entire world is in the middle of this and as we’ve seen with the emergence of variant after variant, we cannot get out of it unless the whole world gets out of it together, and with the huge disparity in vaccination coverage, we’re simply not going to be able to achieve that,” Aylward said.
Nations including France, Germany and Israel have announced plans to inoculate the elderly and immunocompromised with booster jab, even as poor countries struggle to source enough first shots.
While high income countries having now administered almost 100 doses for every 100 people, while low income countries have been able to administer 1.5 doses for every 100 people due to lack of supply.
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