As countries around the world, including the United States, are announcing their approval of booster shots to combat waning COVID-19 immunity, the World Health Organization is asking countries not to give out COVID-19 boosters until all nations, including those with low vaccination rates, can inoculate more of their population.
According to NPR, “During a news conference Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus again suggested that giving out booster shots in countries with already high vaccination rates could lead to more dangerous coronavirus variants appearing across the globe.
‘In addition, there is a debate about whether booster shots are effective at all,’ Ghebreyesus said, according to Reuters.
The WHO previously argued against giving out follow-up doses while some countries continue to struggle vaccinating their population in the first place. Now it is calling on those planning boosters to wait.
But some countries, including the United States, have already announced their intention to offer booster shots in the coming weeks.
The Biden administration said it would begin making available third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines beginning on Sept. 20 to people who were eight months past their second shot.
Dr. Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general, said health officials were concerned about the waning effectiveness of the vaccines over time as well as a renewed surge in cases driven by the exceptionally contagious delta variant.
Hungary, where Ghebreyesus made his remarks, became the first European country to offer booster shots when it started offering third doses in August. Israel was the first country in the world to offer a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Ghebreyesus noted that people with compromised immune systems should get booster shots when they become available.”
Sermo physicians agree. According to a recent poll of 860+ global doctors, 88% are concerned about the waning effectiveness of the vaccines over time as well as a renewed surge in cases.
While 87% are concerned that nations with low inoculation rates are vulnerable to the virus, and could result in the breeding of more dangerous variants; only 40% agree with the WHO that booster shots should not be given out until nations with low vaccination rates can inoculate more of their population.
Seventy-six percent of Sermo physicians have either received a booster or plan to get a booster shot as soon as it becomes available to them. And 94% believe immunocompromised individuals and essential workers should be prioritized for booster shots.
Here is more of what Sermo physicians have to say on this topic:
The virus is here to stay, it is not going to be eradicated in any way. Only a single virus has been eradicated (smallpox), it would be absurd to put an avoidable part at risk, by trying to vaccinate another unreachable part. One thing, then, should not stop the other, third dose: CLEAR and continue vaccination in the rest of the world, which, by the way, will also need the third dose. In fact, if you wait for the rest of the world to get vaccinated, we would go back to the beginning. Think about it.Family Medicine, Spain
Privileged Americans should be demanding that our corrupt government (both Reps and Dems) take patent protection away from Big Pharma and make mRNA technology and supplies available to manufacturing labs around the world, while funding WHO inspectors to assure quality control. Scientific developments to fight pandemics and cancer should be shared freely with all humanity. Profiteering by Big Pharma and payoffs to our politicians make me sicker than Covid-19.Family Medicine, United States
These are not really “booster” shots, which sounds like just some extra luxury. These vaccines are actually multi-shot to reach full efficacy. This is no different from, say, polio, which requires 3 shots. This is a learning curve and the fact that an additional dose is needed is something we just learned. We need to work on better vaccine distribution in many countries but that is not a trade-off for us being inadequately immunized and sliding backwards.Radiology, United States
poorer countries need the vaccine and those who are vaccinated and weaning need their boosters…it is a both and not an either or.General Practice, Canada
Every immunized person should be tested for the antibody titer 6 months after 2nd shot – beside the fact that T-cell system is not directely tested by the antibody titer, the result gives a guide wether the immunized person has reacted to the double immunization. Titers which raise the barrier of 3 fold to 6 fold of the lowest positive titer value should be discussed to get 3rd shot in case they are immuncompromized (cancer, transplantated or very old people) depending of contact rates to other people. If Antibody titers are above 6 fold of the lowest positive titer, the third shot should be cancelled. Second proposal: Third vaccination should be done with products like Novavax and not again with MRNA or Vector vaccines. Therefore these kind of conventional vaccine technology really has to be approved as soon as possible. It´s a maximum not understandable fact that after over half a year of application at FDA and EMA theses Vaccine products still are not available !Rheumatology, Germany
Healthcare, armed forces, public administration employees should receive the third dose of the vaccineOrthopedic Surgery, Italy