WHO calls for moratorium on Covid-19 vaccine boosters

Geneva, Aug 4 (EFE).- The World Health Organization called for a moratorium Wednesday on administering booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, after Israel and Germany announced they will soon offer reinforcement jabs to vulnerable groups, while the United Kingdom plans to start doing the same in September.

“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,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Over 80% of the 4 billion vaccines administered globally were used in high and middle income countries, which account for less than half of the world population, he said, highlighting the unequal access to the most efficient tool against the pandemic.

Tedros called for a moratorium until the end of September, setting up the goal of fully vaccinating at least 10% of every country by then, although he admitted the target will be hard to meet.

According to the WHO, inequality in vaccine distribution is growing rather than falling, with Europe surpassing the 50% vaccination rate and the United States closing in on 70%.

Only 2% of people living in Africa have received the full course of the Covid-19 vaccine, and 5% have been given one dose.

Wealthy nations have administered close to 100 doses per 100 residents, compared to 1.5 doses per 100 residents in low-income countries, Tedros said.

“We need everyone’s cooperation, especially the handful of countries and companies that control the global supply of vaccines,” he said. EFE


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