WHO warns against hoarding, says vaccines are effective for 6 months

Geneva, Dec 9 (EFE).- Covid-19 vaccines are effective for up to six months, the World Health Organisation said Thursday.

At a briefing, Kate O’Brien, the WHO’s vaccine director also warned that uncertainty surrounding the newly detected Omicron variant could lead to developed countries hoarding vaccine supplies again.

“As we head into whatever the Omicron situation is going to be, there is risk that the global supply is again going to revert to high-income countries hoarding vaccines,” O’Brien said.

While the Covax vaccine distribution mechanism backed by the WHO and United Nations has stepped up in recent months, there are fears that richer nations will prioritise administering booster shots before millions in developing countries have received their first dose, further exacerbating vaccine access inequity.

“Broad-based administration of booster doses risks exacerbating inequities in vaccine access,” professor Alejandro Cravioto of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) said.

“The vast majority of current infections are the results of infections in non-vaccinated people, who we believe should be vaccinated instead of giving further doses to those that have already received the full immune system,” he added.

The vaccines that have been authorized by the WHO and most of the regulators that are considered international references offer “robust protection for at least six months against severe forms of the disease, although a certain decrease (in efficacy) has been observed in severe cases, especially in older adults and people with underlying diseases,” he explained.EFE


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