Wealthy countries brush aside WHO pleas to hold off on booster shots until vaccination rates in poorer nations dramatically increase

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Credit: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times
Credit: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times

French President Emanuel Macron said [August 5] his country would join the handful of nations that plan to offer a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine to elderly and vulnerable people, despite the World Health Organization calling on [August 4] for a hold on booster shots until at least the end of September.

WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus appealed for countries that were further along in their vaccination programs to wait until September to distribute third doses to allow for at least 10% of the population of every country to be vaccinated.

“I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant. But we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it,” Tedros said.

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“The fact that we are vaccinating healthy adults with a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines is a short-sighted way of thinking,” Elin Hoffmann Dahl, infectious diseases medical adviser to Doctors Without Borders’ access campaign, told Reuters.

“With the emergence of new variants, if we continue to leave the majority of the world unvaccinated, we will most definitely need adjusted vaccines in the future.”

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