‘Globally, 6 times more Covid-19 boosters administered every day’: WHO chief wants 'scandal' to end
People in low-income countries are struggling to get their primary doses, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyes has described as a ‘scandal,’ what he said was more people across the world receiving booster doses of a coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine as compared to those receiving primary doses in low-income countries, calling for the practice to be stopped.
The WHO chief made this observation while delivering his opening remarks at a media briefing on Covid-19, on Friday. “Every day, six times more boosters are administered globally than primary doses in low-income countries. It makes no sense to give boosters to healthy adults, or to vaccinate children, when health workers, older people, and other high-risk groups around the world are still awaiting their first dose,” he remarked, though he also said that as an exception, only immunocompromised people should be administered booster doses, as previously suggested by the global health body in October.
Ghebreyesus further alleged that some countries were ‘stockpiling’ vaccines. “Nations with the highest vaccine coverage continue to stockpile more vaccines, while low-income countries continue to wait,” he said.
All of this is a ‘scandal’ that must be stopped now, he added.
The WHO director-general's remarks come at a time when several countries are already administering booster doses to at least a section of their respective eligible population due to a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases, or due to an expected surge. Several others have either authorised or are contemplating booster doses. For example, in Europe, which has once again become the ‘epicentre’ of the pandemic, additional doses will be given in countries such as Norway and Italy.