WHO warns against booster shots while US plans to make them available September onwards

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Aug 19, 2021, 10:30 AM(IST)

Soumya Swaminathan Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

At a news conference in Geneva, she said, "We believe clearly that the data does not indicate that boosters are needed"

The chief scientist of the World Health Organization, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, has warned of “even more dire situations” worldwide if high-income countries start administering vaccine boosters ahead of poorer countries without vaccines.

At a news conference in Geneva, she said, "We believe clearly that the data does not indicate that boosters are needed".

The WHO has repeatedly called for vaccine equity and “solidarity” among countries. Dr. Michael Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies chief, said, “If we think about this in terms of an analogy, we’re planning to hand out extra life jackets to people who already have life jackets, while we’re leaving other people to drown without a single life jacket.”

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As per WHO director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, 10 countries have administered 75 per cent of all vaccine supply, while low-income countries have vaccinated “barely 2 per cent of their people.” He said, "vaccine injustice is a shame on all humanity."

This comes as the US said that it plans to make COVID-19 vaccine booster shots widely available September 20 onwards. 

The decision has been taken given rise in infections due to Delta variant and also due to the data indicating diminishing protection from vaccines over time.

The officials are prepared to give third shot to Americans who completed their inoculation at least 8 months ago. 

The booster shots initially will focus upon healthcare workers, nursing home residents and older people, among the first groups to be vaccinated in late 2020 and early 2021, top US health officials said in a joint statement.

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