Third dose worsens poor people’s access to coronavirus vaccines

The Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), in a file image. EFE / EPA / FABRICE COFFRINI / POOL

Geneva, Nov 12 (EFE) .- The third dose of the covid vaccine that is being inoculated in several countries is making access to the first two doses more difficult in poor countries, the World Health Organization said today ( WHO), which revealed that six times more booster doses are given each day than starting doses.
“This is a scandal that must stop now. The vast majority of countries are ready to vaccinate, but they need the doses,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference.
The organization’s experts expressed alarm at the rising curve of the pandemic, particularly in Europe, where two million cases were reported in the last week, the highest weekly figure since the pandemic began.
Deaths in Europe, which were 27,000, accounted for half of all those that occurred in the world.
The organization said that to reach its goal of having 40% of the population of all countries vaccinated by the end of the year, it needs 550 million additional doses, which is equivalent to what is produced in just ten days.
WHO would have that many doses to spare to distribute through the COVAX platform (created to work for equitable access to vaccines) if a majority of the countries that pledged to donate a total of 1.4 billion doses had met their word. For now, they have only delivered 20% of what was offered.
Several of these promises have been left unfulfilled because thirty countries have begun to recommend a third dose to their populations, in some cases to the highest risk groups and in others to people in general.
“There is no point giving boosters to healthy adults or vaccinating children when there are health workers, elderly and high-risk people around the world who are still waiting for the first dose,” said Tedros, who said that an exception should be the people who they have a poorly functioning immune system and should be boosted.

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