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Who: Refillable doses can prolong the epidemic

“General refill doses are more likely to prolong the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than stop it,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

When vaccine doses end up in rich countries that already have a high vaccination rate, they widen the gap in poor countries, which fall further.

– The head of the World Health Organization explains that this gives the virus greater opportunities to spread and transform.

Therefore, priority should be given to high-risk groups worldwide, rather than those already vaccinated receiving an extra dose, he warns.

A country cannot get out of the epidemic with refill doses.

oblique access

The World Health Organization has long condemned the shortage of vaccine supplies among the world’s rich and poor countries and has called for equitable distribution. The World Health Organization claims that when covid-19 is allowed to circulate freely in some parts of the world, the risk of new variants of the virus emerging is more serious.

About 67 percent of the population of high-income countries have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, while even 10 percent in low-income countries have not, according to United Nations figures.

– Frankly, it’s hard to fathom how three out of four healthcare workers in Africa are still not immune, a year after the first vaccines began to be rolled out, says Tedros.

Several months ago, he called for rich countries to stop refilling doses of healthy people until at least 40 percent of the world’s population had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

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That goal could have been achieved with the doses given worldwide — if the vaccine had been fairly distributed, according to Tedros.

omicron rapid diffusion

The new omicron variant is currently spreading at an unparalleled speed compared to previous variants of covid-19. Since the discovery of omicron at the end of November, the variant has been found in 106 countries, according to the World Health Organization.

In addition, early results indicate that the vaccine is not effective against the omicron variant, prompting rich countries to further accelerate refill dose distribution. So far, 120 countries have started giving a third dose of the vaccine – but none has been classified as a low-income country.

–It’s important to remember that the vast majority of hospital admissions and deaths affect people who are not immunized, not people who did not receive the refill dose, Tedros says.

A woman receives a dose of the covid-19 vaccine in Soweto, South Africa, in early December. Photo: Denis Farrell/AP/TT