WHO chief calls for pause on COVID booster shots until 2022: ‘I will not stay silent’

Coronavirus

FILE – In this Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021 file photo, a health worker prepares Pfizer vaccines during the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Pamplona, northern Spain. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos, File)

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the World Health Organization is calling on rich countries with large supplies of coronavirus vaccines to refrain from offering booster shots through the end of the year, expanding a call that has largely fallen on deaf ears.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said Wednesday he was “appalled” at comments by a leading association of pharmaceutical manufacturers who said vaccine supplies are high enough to allow for both booster shots and vaccinations in countries in dire need of jabs but facing shortages.

“I will not stay silent when companies and countries that control the global supply of vaccines think the world’s poor should be satisfied with leftovers,” he told a news conference.

Tedros had previously called for a “moratorium” on booster shots through the end of September, but the United States and other countries have begun or are considering plans to offer them to their vulnerable people.

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