WHO Calls for Moratorium on Covid Boosters Shots Until End of September

WASHINGTON: The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the international community to observe 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.

Addressing a media briefing, WHO Director General Dr Tedros said “the situation was tough for the last two months, where over 2000 people died so far, including health workers.” He expressed hope that the vaccines would be able to reach different parts of the country and hope that people would be responsible enough and go for vaccination.

Dr Tedros said hundreds of millions of people around the world – they cannot afford to stay at home, they work to eat, and these populations need vaccines urgently, especially health workers, older people and other vulnerable groups. And yet, he maintained, even while hundreds of millions of people are still waiting for their first dose, some rich countries are moving towards booster doses.

Dr Tedros said so far, more than 4 billion vaccine doses have been administered globally. More than 80% have gone to high- and upper-middle income countries, even though they account for less than half of the world’s population. He said he understood the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant, however, “we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it, while the world’s most vulnerable people remain unprotected.”

He said low-income countries have only been able to administer 1.5 doses for every 100 people, due to lack of supply, due to which “we need an urgent reversal, from the majority of vaccines going to high-income countries, to the majority going to low-income countries.”

He said accordingly, 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, and to make that happen, we need everyone’s cooperation, especially the handful of countries and companies that control the global supply of vaccines.

Dr Tedros said “we call on everyone with influence – Olympic athletes, investors, business leaders, faith leaders, and every individual in their own family and community – to support our call for a moratorium on booster shots until at least the end of September.”

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