Giving Covid reinforcements to healthy people is not “right,” says WHO

Nurse Mary Ezzat administers a Pfizer COVID-19 booster to Jessica M. at UCI Medical Center in Orange, CA, on Thursday, August 19, 2021.

Jeff Gritchen | MediaNews Group | Register Orange County via Getty Images

World Health Organization officials have again called on plant-rich nations to distribute booster doses of the Covid vaccine in hopes of making more vaccines available to poorer countries with lower immunization rates. delay.

The WHO lacks sufficient scientific data to accept the widespread use of boosters, Tedros Director-General Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday. The organization has been working to address vaccine inequity since last winter, urging world leaders Wednesday to impose a moratorium on third doses by the end of the year to redirect surplus vaccines to nations. at low income.

“There are countries with less than 2% vaccination coverage, mostly in Africa, that have not even gotten their first and second doses,” Tedros said. “And starting with boosters, especially giving them healthy populations, is really not fair.”

In Africa, just under 3.5% of the eligible population is fully vaccinated, say WHO officials. The organization reiterated its approval for the administration of booster doses for immunocompromised patients, but said Africa was on track to miss the director general’s goal of a 10% vaccination rate in all. countries at the end of the year.

Reinforcement developments have already begun in the United States, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 54% of the population is completely vaccinated. More than 1.8 million boosters are already administered, the CDC said. If the WHO signs the boosters, their distribution would require an investment of about $ 1 billion a year in Africa, Benedict Oramah, chairman and chairman of the board of directors of the African Export-Import Bank, said in and briefing.

Although many nations are committed to donating hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine to the developing world, trade restrictions have made it difficult for low-income nations to buy vaccines alone, said Strive Masiyiwa, special envoy to the African Union for Covid-19. Strengthening these restrictions would help facilitate increased vaccination in Africa, Masiyiwa said.

“We want access to buy,” he said. “We call on those countries that have established restrictions on exports – exports of vaccines such as finished products, exports of ingredients, drug substances.”

“These restrictions are even more urgent for us today than intellectual property because intellectual property will not provide us with a vaccine tomorrow,” Masiyiwa added.

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