WHO warns against blanket boosters, as vaccine inequity persists 

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“No state tin boost its mode retired of the pandemic,” said WHO main Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking successful Geneva during his last property briefing for the year. 

“And boosters cannot beryllium seen arsenic a summons to spell up with planned celebrations, without the request for different precautions,” helium added. 

Diverting vaccine supply 

The WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts connected Immunization (SAGE) has issued interim guidance connected booster doses, expressing interest that wide programmes for countries that tin spend them, volition exacerbate vaccine inequity. 

Currently, astir 20 per cent of each vaccine doses administered are being fixed arsenic boosters oregon further doses. 

“Blanket booster programmes are apt to prolong the pandemic, alternatively than ending it, by diverting proviso to countries that already person precocious levels of vaccination coverage, giving the microorganism much accidental to dispersed and mutate,” said Tedros. 

He stressed that the precedence indispensable beryllium connected supporting countries to vaccinate 40 per cent of their populations arsenic rapidly arsenic possible, and 70 per cent by the mediate of 2022. 

“It’s important to retrieve that the immense bulk of hospitalizations and deaths are successful unvaccinated people, not un-boosted people,” helium said.  “And we indispensable beryllium precise wide that the vaccines we have, stay effectual against some the Delta and Omicron variants.” 

A COVID-19 diligent  is being treated during the pandemic astatine  a infirmary  successful  Matanzas, Cuba.

Proyecto Naturaleza Secreta

A COVID-19 diligent is being treated during the pandemic astatine a infirmary successful Matanzas, Cuba.

Against vaccine inequity 

Tedros reported that portion immoderate countries are present rolling retired broad programmes - for a third, oregon adjacent 4th shot, successful the lawsuit of Israel - lone fractional of WHO’s 194 Member States person been capable to inoculate 40 per cent of their populations owed to “distortions successful planetary supply”. 

Enough vaccines were administered globally successful 2021, helium said.  Therefore, each state could person reached the people by September, if doses had been distributed equitably done planetary solidarity mechanics COVAX and its African Union counterpart, AVAT. 

“We’re encouraged that proviso is improving,” said Tedros.  “Today, COVAX shipped its 800 millionth vaccine dose. Half of those doses person been shipped successful the past 3 months.” 

He again urged countries and manufacturers to prioritize COVAX and AVAT, and to enactment unneurotic to enactment nations furthest behind. 

While WHO projections amusement capable proviso to vaccinate the full planetary big colonisation by the archetypal 4th of 2022, and to springiness boosters to high-risk populations, lone aboriginal successful the twelvemonth volition proviso beryllium capable for extended usage of boosters successful each adults. 

Hope for 2022 

Reflecting connected the past year, Tedros reported that much radical died from COVID-19 successful 2021 than from HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined, successful 2020. 

Coronavirus killed 3.5 cardinal radical this year, and continues to assertion immoderate 50,000 lives each week. 

Tedros said though vaccines “undoubtedly saved galore lives”, inequitable sharing of doses resulted successful galore deaths. 

“As we attack a caller year, we indispensable each larn the achy lessons this twelvemonth taught us. 2022 indispensable beryllium the extremity of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it indispensable besides beryllium the opening of thing other – a caller epoch of solidarity,”   

Guidance for wellness workers 

New WHO guidance recommends that wellness workers usage either a respirator oregon aesculapian mask, successful summation to different idiosyncratic protective instrumentality (PPE), erstwhile entering the country of a diligent with suspected oregon confirmed COVID-19. 

Respirators, which includes N95 and FFP2 masks, arsenic good arsenic others, should particularly beryllium worn successful settings with mediocre ventilation. 

As galore wellness workers crossed the satellite are incapable to entree these items, WHO is urging manufacturers and countries to standard up production, procurement and organisation of some respirators and aesculapian masks. 

Tedros stressed that each wellness workers indispensable person each the tools they request to bash their jobs, which includes training, PPE, a harmless enactment environment, and vaccines. 

“It’s frankly hard to recognize however a twelvemonth since the archetypal vaccines were administered, 3 successful 4 wellness workers successful Africa stay unvaccinated,” helium remarked. 

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