As global COVID-19 death rates are again climbing, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus yesterday tore into booster shot plans by 2 pharma companies and wealthy countries, AP reports.
The top priority, according to Tedros, should be to get vaccines to countries still in need of initial doses. He directed comments specifically at Pfizer and Moderna, which are developing new versions of vaccines that target variants, according to STAT.
“We’re in the midst of a growing two-track pandemic where the haves and have-nots, within and between countries, are increasingly divergent,” Tedros said.
WHO agreed with the US FDA and CDC, which have said a booster is not yet needed. Pfizer, however, reportedly has data from Israel suggesting “a third dose may be needed within six to 12 months after full vaccination.” A related article has been sent to a peer-reviewed journal.
The Quote: “We will look back in anger and we will look back in shame if we don’t now move to use the increasing [vaccine] production capacity that is coming on line … to protect the most vulnerable, protect the frontline health workers around the world,” said Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s health emergencies program.