COVID-19: WHO chief urges halt to booster shots for rest of the year

The head of the World Health Organization is calling on rich countries with large supplies of coronavirus vaccines to refrain from offering booster shots through the end of the year, expanding a call that has largely fallen on deaf ears.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said Wednesday he was “appalled” at comments by a leading association of pharmaceutical manufacturers who said vaccine supplies are high enough to allow for both booster shots and vaccinations in countries in dire need of jabs but facing shortages.

“I will not stay silent when companies and countries that control the global supply of vaccines think the world’s poor should be satisfied with leftovers,” he told a news conference.

Tedros had previously called for a “moratorium” on booster shots through the end of September, but the United States and other countries have begun or are considering plans to offer them to their vulnerable people.

The move for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots in the US has generated a spat between the White House and health officials.

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President Biden announced in mid-August that the government planned to offer booster shots starting the week of Sept. 20.

Two FDA officials have stepped down due to continued frustration that the Biden administration appeared to be following the direction of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for guidance on booster shots.

However, Anthony Fauci, Biden’s top medical adviser has claimed that the FDA approval remains the most important step in devising any plan for distributing booster shots.

“We were hoping that we would get the both the candidates, both products Moderna and Pfizer rolled out by the week of the 20th, it is conceivable that we will only have one of them out, but the other would likely follow soon thereafter,” Fauci said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“And the reason for that is that we, as we’ve said right from the very beginning, we’re not going to do anything unless it gets the appropriate FDA regulatory approval and then the recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices,” he added.

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Current guidance says that only individuals with moderately or severely compromised immune systems should receive a booster shot as such individuals might not build the appropriate immunity from the initial two shots.

Biden, however, suggested that individuals should receive a shot eight months after their final dose of vaccine.

The FDA supposedly did not endorse this plan.

With Fox News report

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