Home NewsAfrica WHO fears Omicron could spur fresh vaccine hoarding | News24

WHO fears Omicron could spur fresh vaccine hoarding | News24

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) headquarters.

The World Well being Organisation (WHO) headquarters.

Fabrice Coffrini, AFP by way of Getty Photos)

  • WHO has urged rich international locations to keep away from hoarding Covid-19 vaccines.
  • The well being company mentioned a rush to stockpile extra jabs would solely worsen unequal vaccine entry across the globe.
  • WHO’s vaccine chief Kate O’Brien mentioned efforts by rich international locations to stockpile extra jabs for his or her folks would solely lengthen the pandemic.

The World Well being Organisation mentioned Thursday it remained unclear whether or not further Covid-19 vaccine doses are wanted to guard towards the brand new Omicron variant, and urged rich international locations to keep away from hoarding the jabs.

The UN well being company’s vaccine advisors warned {that a} rush to stockpile extra jabs, particularly with out clear proof they’re wanted, would solely exacerbate the already manifestly unequal vaccine entry across the globe.

WHO vaccines chief Kate O’Brien mentioned:

As we head into regardless of the Omicron scenario goes to be, there’s a threat that the worldwide provide is once more going to revert to high-income international locations hoarding vaccine to guard (their populations) … in a way in extra.

Her remark got here after preliminary outcomes revealed Wednesday indicated that three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine had been wanted to acquire the identical stage of safety towards Omicron as two doses supplied towards the preliminary pressure.

O’Brien mentioned the WHO was inspecting the information, and that it could prove that “further doses have profit to supply added safety towards Omicron”, however careworn it was nonetheless “very early days”.

Whereas there was nonetheless little proof that further doses had been wanted to guard towards growing extreme Covid illness, many susceptible folks and well being staff in poorer nations have but to obtain a single dose and stay at nice threat.

O’Brien identified that the world had solely simply begun addressing the damaging inequity in vaccine entry previously two months, with extra donated doses and enormous shipments going to underserved international locations.

“Now we have to guarantee that it continues,” she mentioned, warning that efforts by rich international locations to stockpile extra jabs for his or her folks would solely lengthen the pandemic.

“It isn’t going to work from an epidemiologic perspective, and it is not going to work from a transmission perspective, except we even have vaccine going to all international locations,” she mentioned.

“The place transmission continues … is the place the variants are going to come back from,” she warned, urging “a way more rational world perspective from international locations about what’s really going to close down this pandemic.”


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