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Are Boosters Delaying Global Progress?

Some have called on rich countries to forgo booster shots until the rest of the world is at least partially immunized. In early September, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said the easiest way to reach the 40% target would be to respond to his call for a moratorium on boosters until the end of the day. end of 2021.

COVAX said in early September that it would receive 25% fewer vaccine doses in 2021 than it expected. Restrictions on exports – particularly from the Serum Institute of India, a key supplier – scaling challenges at the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccine manufacturing sites, and uncertain approval timeline [AGS1] of several vaccines, including one from Novavax, are all cut off from supplies.

While 105 COVID-19 vaccines are in various stages of testing, only eight have been fully approved and 13 have some type of early or limited use around the world, according to the New York Times Vaccine Tracker.

The Independent Allocation Vaccine Group (IAVG), created by the WHO, expressed concern about “the priority of bilateral agreements over international collaboration and solidarity, export restrictions and decisions by certain countries of administer booster doses to their adult populations “.

Many countries have approved or started offering boosters, including the United States and, according to Reuters, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic. , Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Russia, Poland, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Turkey and Uruguay.

“Rich countries must ditch the reserved doses and cede their place in the queue, allowing COVAX and the African Union to purchase the vaccines that the continent is seeking and is ready to fund,” wrote Matshidiso Moeti, MD, WHO Regional Director for Africa. in a New York Times editorial. Moeti said only 51 million Africans (3.6% of the continent’s population) are fully immunized.

If the world wants to show it’s serious, it will send 150 million or more extra doses to Africa over the next 2-4 weeks, Udayakumar said, noting that the continent aims to vaccinate 10% of its population d ‘by the end of the year. September.