WHO chief calls for halt to booster vaccinations

Photo by Eugene ChystiakovIn order to increase vaccination protection and to protect the population from new virus variants, the first booster vaccinations are already being planned in this country. In Germany, the third Corona vaccination will be available starting in September. Other countries, such as the USA, are pursuing similar plans.This approach has now been harshly criticized by the World Health Organization (WHO). Because while Germany is already discussing rules for the unvaccinated, the vaccine is still in short supply in poorer countries. Often, not even nursing staff are vaccinated. The WHO is therefore calling for a temporary halt to booster vaccinations against the coronavirus while many poorer countries are still waiting for vaccine doses.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus criticized plans for such Corona vaccinations being discussed in several countries in Geneva on Wednesday. He urged that booster vaccination already underway be suspended and plans for them put on hold until at least the end of September. At least 10 percent of people should be vaccinated in all countries around the world, he said.

"High-income countries have administered 100 vaccine doses per 100 population," Tedros said. "At the same time, low-income countries have only been able to administer 1.5 doses per 100 people because they lack vaccine. We urgently need a turnaround so that the majority of vaccines go to low-income countries instead of high-income countries."

Meanwhile, the White House in Washington rejected the WHO's criticism. In the view of the U.S. government, this is the "wrong choice," stressed Jen Psaki, White House spokeswoman in Washington on Wednesday. "We believe we can do both and don't have to make that choice."

So far, she said, the U.S. has already donated more than 110 million vaccine doses to other countries, more than any other country in the world. At the same time, the U.S. would have enough vaccine doses for its own population - including to potentially provide booster shots to segments of the population, should the relevant U.S. drug agency recommend it.

Global vaccine distribution has long been criticized. Poorer countries are not expected to have access to sufficiently reliable Corona vaccine for years. At the same time, Corona mortality rates are much lower in poor countries. "This pandemic is far from over," Editorial Network Germany quoted a UN emergency coordinator as saying in late July. "We are probably in one of the most dangerous periods for the poorest people on the planet." In the current year, nearly three-quarters of countries in need of humanitarian assistance would have recorded more corona cases or deaths than in the entire previous year.



Photo by Eugene Chystiakov

 


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