Coronavirus live news: WHO appeals for rich countries to donate vaccines rather than using boosters | World news
WHO appeals for rich countries to donate vaccines rather than using boosters
Top officials at the World Health Organization say there’s not enough evidence to show that third doses of coronavirus vaccines are needed, the Associated press reports, as they appealed Monday for the scarce shots to be shared with poor countries who have yet to immunise their people instead of being used by rich countries as boosters.
At a press briefing, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the world’s grotesque vaccine disparity was driven by “greed,” as he called on drugmakers to prioritize supplying their COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries instead of lobbying rich countries to use even more doses. His plea comes just as pharmaceutical companies are seeking authorization for third doses to be used as boosters in some Western countries, including the US.
“We are making conscious choices right now not to protect those in need,” Tedros said, adding the immediate priority must be to vaccinate people who have yet to receive a single dose.
He called on Pfizer and Moderna to “go all out to supply Covax, the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team and low and middle-income countries with very little coverage,” referring to the UN-backed initiative to distribute vaccines globally.
After a 10-week drop in global coronavirus deaths, Tedros said the number of Covid patients dying daily is again beginning to climb and that the extremely infectious delta variant is “driving catastrophic waves of cases.”
Both Pfizer and Moderna have agreed to supply small amounts of their vaccines to Covax, but the vast majority of their doses have been reserved by rich countries.
The UN-backed effort has faltered badly in recent months, with nearly 60 poor countries stalled in their vaccination efforts and their biggest vaccine supplier unable to share any doses until the end of the year.
Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Top officials at the World Health Organization say there’s not enough evidence to show that third doses of coronavirus vaccines are needed and appealed Monday for the scarce shots to be shared with poor countries who have yet to immunise their people instead of being used by rich countries as boosters.
More on that story shortly. In the meantime, here are the other key recent developments:
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