The WHO boss warned on Wednesday against the illusion that it would suffice to administer a booster dose to get out of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“No country will be able to get out of the pandemic with booster shots and the reminders are not a green light to celebrate as planned,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization. health (WHO), during a press briefing in Geneva, a few days before Christmas.
“Indiscriminate booster programs are likely to prolong the pandemic, rather than end it, by diverting available doses to countries that already have high vaccination rates, thus giving the virus more opportunities to spread. spread and mutate ”, underlined Dr Tedros, believing that it was also necessary to put in place other strategies in parallel.
The booster dose is not sufficient
For the director of the WHO, the unvaccinated are the ones to look into. “It is important to remember that the vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths are people who are not vaccinated people who have not had a booster dose,” he insisted.
Dr Tedros also wished to reassure in the face of the arrival of a new variant: “we must be very clear on the fact that the vaccines remain effective against Delta variants such as Omicron”.
According to the WHO Expert Committee on Immunization Policy (SAGE), at least 126 countries have already given instructions for the injection of a booster dose or additional vaccination (for example children ) and 120 of them have already started the campaigns in this direction.
The vast majority are rich or middle-income countries, while “no poor country has yet introduced a recall program,” said SAGE in a press release released on Wednesday. France exceeded the threshold of 20 million booster doses administered on Tuesday.