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Booster greed

The World Health Organization condemned recently the rush by wealthy nations to provide Covid-19 vaccine booster shots to their populations while millions around the world are yet to receive their first dose.

Speaking just before authorities from the United States of America announced that all vaccinated Americans would soon be eligible to receive additional doses, WHO experts insisted there was not enough scientific evidence that boosters were needed and providing them while so many are still waiting to be immunized was immoral.

“We’re planning to hand out extra life jackets to people who already have life jackets, while we’re leaving other people to drown without a single life jacket,” WHO emergency director Mike Ryan told reporters in Geneva.

Although the WHO had already called for a moratorium on Covid vaccine booster shots to help ease the drastic inequity in dose distribution between rich and poor countries, a number is moving forward with plans to add a third jab as they face the Delta variant surge.

While vaccines remain “remarkably effective” in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death from Covid-19, some officials say protection could diminish in the months ahead without boosted immunization. However, WHO experts say the science was still out on boosters and stressed that ensuring that people in low-income countries where vaccination is lagging receive jabs is far more important.

Our vaccination program that has immunized only 13 percent of the population since starting in March should still be a long way from considering booster shots. Those who have already been vaccinated should consider themselves fortunate and cannot be greedy like wealthy nations.

Let us push our government to act with more urgency and efficiency in its vaccination program so most of the population can be inoculated. By then, maybe the rest of the world will be ready and more will benefit from Covid-19 vaccine booster shots.*

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May 2022
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