WHO head calls for two-month vaccine booster moratorium
BUDAPEST, Hungary: The head of the World Health Organization on Monday called for a two-month moratorium on administering booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines as a means of reducing global vaccine inequality and preventing the emergence of new coronavirus variants.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Hungary’s capital, Budapest, that he was “really disappointed” with the scope of vaccine donations worldwide as many countries struggle to provide first and second doses to more than small fractions of their populations while wealthier nations maintain growing vaccine stockpiles.
Tedros called on countries offering third vaccine doses “to share what can be used for boosters with other countries so (they) can increase their first and second vaccination coverage.”
Several countries including the United States, Israel, and Hungary, as well as others in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, are already offering or planning to offer their populations COVID-19 booster shots.
In early August, Hungary became the first country in the 27-member European Union to allow residents to sign up for a third dose, and more than 187,000 people have received a booster so far, according to government statistics. – AP