World Health Organization chief has called on countries with large supplies of Coronavirus vaccines to avoid giving out booster shots until year-end. Speaking from WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged wealthy countries and vaccine makers to prioritise getting the first jabs to health workers and vulnerable populations in poorer nations over boosters. He said, we do not want to see widespread use of boosters for healthy people who are fully vaccinated. He has expressed shock over the comments of a top association of pharmaceutical manufacturers that vaccine supplies are high enough to allow for both booster shots for people in well-supplied countries and first jabs in poorer countries that face shortages.
He will not stay silent when the companies and countries that control the global supply of vaccines think the world’s poor should be satisfied with leftovers, Mr.Tedros added.
The WHO chief said he received a message of clear support from health ministers at a meeting of the influential Group of 20 countries this week for a commitment to help achieve a WHO target that all countries vaccinate at least 40% of their people by the year end.
The WHO says about 80 percent of the 5.5 billion vaccines doses that have been administered globally went to high income countries.
Meanwhile, international organisations running COVAX, a global programme providing COVID vaccines to poor countries, said it is on course to fall nearly 30 percent short of its previous goal of 2 billion shots this year.