Blanket Booster Programs May Prolong Covid Pandemic, WHO Says

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Blanket Booster Programs May Prolong Covid Pandemic, WHO Says” – below is their description.

Next year must see the end of the coronavirus pandemic, World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday.

He said 3.5 million people died of COVID-19 over the past year, more than the combined number of victims of HIV, malaria and tuberculosis during 2020.

He said vaccines had given hope to ending the pandemic but he criticised the distribution of jabs, mostly by wealthier nations which have begun rolling out large scale booster programmes in a bid to combat the new omicron variant.

“Blanket booster programs are likely to prolong the pandemic rather than end it,” he said. “No country can boost its way out of the pandemic.”

Tedros called for vaccines to be shared more equally among countries before prioritising boosters, especially with nations which had not yet achieved the WHO target of vaccinating 40% of their population.

He said current projections showed there would be enough supply of vaccine to vaccinate the entire global adult population and to give booster jabs to those most vulnerable by the end of the first quarter of next year.

“However, only later in 2022 will supply be sufficient for extensive use of boosters in all adults,” he added, as he urged countries and vaccine manufacturers to continue supporting vaccine initiatives for poorer nations.

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