COVID Booster Programs May Prolong Pandemic: Tedros WHO
COVID Booster Programs May Prolong Pandemic: Tedros WHO

GENEVA: Due to unequal distribution of vaccines between rich and poor countries, blanket vaccine booster efforts are likely to prolong rather than stop the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization's (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.

"Diverting supply to countries already having high levels of vaccine coverage," will allow the virus "greater opportunity to spread and mutate.", WHO Chief said during a press briefing. He said,  WHO has previously called on countries to vaccinate 40% of their populations by the end of the year, but only half of WHO member states have been able to meet this goal. This is partly due to worldwide disparity in vaccine distribution.

While several nations are now implementing blanket vaccine booster campaigns, he estimates that three out of four African health workers will be unvaccinated by the end of 2021, a year after the first immunizations were provided. He noted that if the vaccines had been delivered fairly, the 40% objective might have been met in all countries by September.

As vaccine supply improves, WHO predictions show that by the first quarter of 2022, vaccine supply will be sufficient to vaccinate the whole world adult population and administer boosters to high-risk populations, but only later in 2022 will supply be sufficient for widespread booster usage in all adults.

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