WHO On COVID-19 Booster Shots

August 4, 2021
WHO On COVID-19 Booster Shots

… we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it, while the world’s most vulnerable people remain unprotected.

World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus calls for a moratorium on COVID-19 vaccine booster shots until September.
  • In recent months, a small number of wealthy countries have decided to administer booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines, with many others considering it despite a lack of recommendation from the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO), along with a lack of authorization from the FDA.
  • In light of this, WHO called for a global "moratorium" – or temporary pause – on administering booster shots until September.
  • In regards to countries making decisions to administer booster shots, WHO's Senior Advisor to the Director-General Dr. Bruce Aylward emphasized this approach: "We are in a pandemic. The entire world is in the middle of this and as we have seen from the emergence of variant after variant, we cannot get out of it unless the whole world gets out of it together …" citing extreme vaccination coverage disparity.

Big Picture: Dr. Aylward provided the continent of Africa as an example of the "extraordinary and increasing inequity that we have in the distribution of vaccines." The continent of Africa has a vaccination coverage of less than 2% "in terms of two doses." He noted how this "contrasts" with the coverage in North America and Europe, where countries are achieving over 50% coverage. He summed up WHO's call by explaining that it is "… a call for that global solidarity to achieve the coverage we need to have the biggest possible public health impact and get the world out of this crisis as rapidly as possible."

As "Pfizer plans to formally submit data to U.S. regulators about the benefits of a third Covid vaccine dose by mid-August" (CNBC), questions surface regarding what impact WHO's call for a shift in the focus of vaccine distribution will have on wealthy countries around the world.

President Biden recently spoke on this issue on August 2: "We’ve already exceeded 80 million doses that have been — gone out. As of today, the United States has shipped over 110 million doses of U.S. vaccines to 65 countries that are among the hardest hit in the world.

Let me say it again: As of today, we have shipped over 110 million doses to 65 nations.

According to the United Nations, this is more than the donations of all 24 countries that have donated any vaccine to other countries, including China and Russia — all those nations combined.

These vaccine donations from America are free. We’re not selling them. There are no demands, no conditions, no coercion attached. And there is no favoritism and no strings attached. We’re doing this to save lives and to end this pandemic. That’s it."

Click HERE to watch WHO's full press conference

WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID- 4 August 2021

by Jenna Lee,