The World Health Organisation stated that rich countries should not be ordering booster shots for their vaccinated populations while other counties have not even yet received COVID-19 vaccines.
The World Health Organisation director, General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said deaths were again rising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Delta variant was becoming dominant, and many countries had yet to receive enough vaccine doses to protect their health workers.
Tedros stated in a briefing, “The Delta variant is ripping around the world at a scorching pace, driving a new spike in COVID-19 cases and death.” The Delta variant was first detected in India but now has been found active in 104 other countries.
“The global gap in COVID-19 vaccine supply is hugely uneven and inequitable. Some countries and regions are actually ordering millions of booster doses, before other countries have had supplies to vaccinate their health workers and most vulnerable,” Tedros stated.
Tedros criticised the vaccine companies Pfizer and Moderna that were producing booster shots to countries that already have high levels of vaccination. He said that the vaccines must be directed towards COVAX- a vaccine sharing programme for middle income and poor countries.
Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies programme, said: “Right now, we are condemning hundreds of millions of people to have no protection.
“We will look back in anger, and we will look back in shame”, if countries use precious doses on booster shots, at a time when vulnerable people are still dying without vaccines elsewhere, Ryan said.
“These are people who want to have their cake and eat it, and then they want to make some more cake and eat it too,” he said.