WHO chief calls ‘scandal’ distribution of booster shots as poorest countries wait for doses – .

“Premature” to rule out COVID-19 laboratory leak theory – .

On Friday, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) called the distribution of COVID-19 booster vaccines a “scandal that must end now”, as the poorest countries continue to wait for the first doses.
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus criticized countries with ‘highest immunization coverage’ at WHO briefing for collecting additional vaccine doses and prioritizing giving their citizens the third and fourth doses rather than vaccinating populations at risk in other countries.

“It is a scandal that must end now,” he said.

In fact, he cited data that six times more booster doses are given globally than initial doses in low-income countries.

“It makes no sense to give reminders to healthy adults, or to immunize children, while health workers, the elderly and other high-risk groups around the world are still waiting for their first dose. He added, noting that immunocompromised people are an exception.

Tedros also stressed that countries need other coronavirus precautions besides vaccines, saying: “No country can just vaccinate to get out of the pandemic.”

The WHO has consistently rejected the need for booster shots as countries like the United States have advanced and opened up the third and fourth doses to increasing numbers of people.

In the United States, some mRNA vaccine recipients and all Johnson & Johnson recipients have been approved to receive boosters at least six months and at least two months after their most recent injection, respectively.

Children between the ages of 5 and 11 also became eligible for the Pfizer vaccine earlier this month, and the Biden administration said the United States has enough doses for the 28 million people in this group to age get vaccinated.

Meanwhile, other countries are struggling to get high-risk populations vaccinated. In order to meet the WHO target of immunizing 40% of the population of each country by the end of 2021, the world needs an additional 550 million doses, Tedros said.

Progress has been made thanks to the COVAX program, co-led by Gavi, WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, which has sent nearly 500 million doses to 144 countries and territories.

As of Thursday, at least 40 percent of the global global population is considered fully immunized – but that number only includes 2.4 percent in low-income countries, according to the A campaign.

Secretary of State Antoine BlinkAntony BlinkenOvernight Defense & National Security – United States remains vigilant on Russia WHO chief calls ‘scandal’ distribution of booster shots as poorest countries wait for doses The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Biden points out an Obama official as the chief of the FDA just before the PLUS deadline announced Wednesday that the United States is working with COVAX to send Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccines to people living in conflict areas. The United States has committed more than a billion doses in the form of donations.

But at the same time, pressure is mounting on the administration to approve booster injections for the rest of the US adult population, as groundbreaking cases have become more common amid the highly transmissible delta variant.

Yet studies have repeatedly shown that the risk of hospitalization and death is much lower in those who received the initial vaccine than in those who were not vaccinated. Recent research suggests that boosters further increase this protection.


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