The boss of the WHO warned, Wednesday, December 22, against the illusion that it would be enough to administer booster doses to get out of the Covid-19 pandemic. “No country will be able to get out of the pandemic with booster doses and the reminders are not a green light to celebrate as we had planned”, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organization, 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. “
“It’s important to remember that the vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths are people who haven’t been vaccinated, not people who haven’t had a booster dose.”, he insisted, adding: “And we have to be very clear” on the fact that “Vaccines remain effective against Delta variants such as Omicron”.
Vaccination booster campaign in 120 countries
According to the WHO Expert Committee on Immunization Policy (SAGE), at least 126 countries have already given instructions for a booster dose or additional vaccination (of children, for example). example) and 120 of them have already started campaigns in this direction.
The vast majority of these are rich or middle-income countries, while“No poor country has yet introduced a recall program”, underlines the SAGE in a press release released Wednesday afternoon. “Immunization efforts must continue to focus on reducing [du nombre] of deaths and the most serious cases and to protect the health system ”, he adds in his conclusions.
“Public health and social measures remain an essential component in the Covid-19 prevention strategy, in particular with regard to the Omicron variant”, insist these specialists, as did during the press conference the doctor Maria Van Kerkhove, in charge of the management of this pandemic within the WHO. She insisted on the need for everyone to take responsibility to prevent the virus from continuing to circulate, while acknowledging that it was difficult.
Dr Van Kerkhove also recalled that we did not yet have enough data to conclude that the Omicron variant actually causes less serious forms of Covid-19, as some studies seem to show. “We don’t have the full picture and it is too early to conclude that Omicron is more benign than Delta or more serious than Delta”, did she say.