07
Access, allocation and deployment

How does WHO propose to address the increased global inequity in vaccine access that would result if third or booster doses are made available to fully vaccinated people in high-income countries?

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4/10/2021

At this time there is not sufficient evidence pointing to the need for an additional or booster shot for the general population. WHO is closely monitoring emerging data on boosters and is not ruling out the possibility that boosters might be warranted in the future. But while that evolving body of data develops, we need to be focused on getting first and second doses to health workers, older people and other at-risk groups worldwide.

We need an urgent reversal from the majority of vaccines going to high-income countries to the majority going to low-income countries. Accordingly, WHO has called for a time-limited moratorium on COVID-19 vaccine booster doses. This is to allow for at least 10% of the population of each country – including those most at risk and health workers – to be vaccinated.

To make that happen everyone's co-operation is needed, especially from the handful of companies and countries that control the global supply of vaccines. The G20 has a vital leadership role to play representing the countries that are the biggest producers, the biggest consumers and the biggest donors of COVID-19 vaccines. It's no understatement to say that the course of the pandemic depends on the leadership of the G20.

Summary:

  • Data on the potential need for booster doses is not yet conclusive.
  • As evidence evolves, we need to focus on fully vaccinating health workers, older people and other at-risk groups worldwide.

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