The World Health Organization called for a halt to COVID-19 booster shots until at least the end of September.
Noting that while some countries are moving to give their citizens a third dose of vaccine to interrupt the spread of the so-called Delta variant, many poorer nations’ supply is so dire that health workers are not being inoculated.
“We cannot and we should not accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it, while the world’s most vulnerable people remain unprotected,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday.
The world is not on track to hit the WHO’s target of 10% vaccination coverage in all countries by the end of September, The Washington Post reported Tedros as saying.
The “Israeli” entity was the first to begin inoculating people with a third dose, a move that Germany and the United Kingdom said they would follow.
While winning praise internationally for the success of its inoculation campaign, the entity was also criticized for the perception that it was not sufficiently striving to provide vaccines to Palestinians.
This despite the Palestinian Authority [PA] overseeing healthcare in the occupied West Bank, and Hamas in the besieged Gaza Strip.
More than 80% of vaccine doses globally have gone to higher income countries that represent less than half of the world’s population, Tedros said.
This may lengthen the pandemic as poor, unvaccinated countries can be breeding grounds for new variants of COVID, which may return to rich nations that appeared to have beaten the disease.
The Delta variant emerged in India, and the Lambda variant in Peru – both nations that lacked significant vaccination levels within their populations.
Health Ministry data shows that over 200,000 “Israelis” have received a third coronavirus vaccine shot.