WHO wants to postpone booster doses of vaccines in rich countries because of global inequalities – ZAP


Jean-Christophe Bott / EPA

Director General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) asked this Wednesday for a moratorium on booster doses of vaccines against covid-19 so that poor countries can immunize their population.

The World Health Organization is calling for a postponement of booster doses of covid-19 vaccines until at least September. At issue are the difficulties of poor countries in having access to vaccines.

We urgently need to change things: [passar] from a majority of vaccines to rich countries to a majority [de vacinas] for poor countries”, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, adding that the moratorium should last “at least until the end of September”.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was speaking at the usual WHO press videoconference on the evolution of the covid-19 pandemic, broadcast from the organization’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“We cannot and must not accept that countries that have used most of the global supply of vaccines use them even more, while the most vulnerable people in the world remain unprotected”, he said, quoted by The Washington Post.

The Ethiopian doctor has often warned of the lack of equity in the distribution and administration of vaccines against covid-19, harming the poorest countries, especially in Africa. In poor countries 1.5 people in every 100 received a dose of a vaccine, while in rich countries it was 100 in every 100.

To the ask for a moratorium, the WHO leader reacted to the fact that Israel had recently started administering a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to people over 60 years old, to stop infections with the Delta variant of the new, more contagious coronavirus.

Germany has announced that it will give a third booster dose to the elderly and other vulnerable people from 1 September. Still no dates, Spain also plans to move forward with the administration of a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.

In May, the Director-General of WHO launched the challenge, which has proved increasingly difficult to achieve, of having 10% of the population of all countries of the world vaccinated until September.

“To get there we need the cooperation of everyone, especially a handful of countries and companies that control the global production of vaccines”, stressed Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who called on pharmaceutical groups to favor Covax, a universal and equitable distribution mechanism for vaccines. covid-19 vaccines that benefit 92 poor countries.

However, to date, the Covax, co-managed by WHO, failed to fulfill its mission due to lack of doses, having only distributed a small fraction of vaccines.

Of the four billion doses of vaccine injected in the world, 80% were in middle- and high-income countries, which represent less than half of the world’s population.

The covid-19 pandemic has killed at least 4,247,231 worldwide, among more than 199.5 million infected, according to the latest accounting by the news agency AFP, based on official data.

In Portugal, since the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, 17,412 people have died and 977,406 cases of infection have been registered, according to updated statistics from the Directorate-General for Health.