A WHO official on Thursday asked rich countries not to rush once again to vaccines to the detriment of poor countries, stressing that the need for a third dose was not scientifically proven against the Omicron variant.
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With the appearance of this variant, “there is a risk that global stocks will once again be redirected to high-income countries that want to accumulate vaccines to protect their populations to the point of excess,” said Dr Kate O’Brien, head of immunization at the World Health Organization, during a press briefing.
Ms. O’Brien is a member of the expert committee advising the World Health Organization (WHO) on immunization (SAGE).
On Wednesday, the companies Pfizer and Biontech, which make one of the messenger RNA vaccines against COVID-19, published a study claiming that the serum remained effective against Omicron if three doses were administered instead of the two recommended for them. other variants.
The WHO has seized the data of this study, indicated Dr. O’Brien and it could indeed be “that additional doses make it possible to better protect against Omicron”, she says but “we are still only about it. ‘at the very beginning,’ said Dr O’Brien.
A significant proportion of caregivers and vulnerable people in poor countries have not even received a first dose, despite the lack of data to confirm that booster doses are essential to prevent the majority of the population already vaccinated the most severe forms of the disease.
The WHO official also stressed that the world was only beginning to tackle immunization inequity, with the acceleration of donations from rich countries and more deliveries to countries where the immunization rate remains very high. – below what would be necessary.
“We have to make sure that this continues,” she insisted, stressing that a new vaccine-buying frenzy by rich countries would only prolong the pandemic.
“From an epidemiological point of view, it does not work and it does not work either from the point of view of transmission if we do not deliver vaccines to all countries”, hammered the doctor.
“This is where transmission is perpetuated that the variants will come from,” she warned, calling on countries to take “a more rational global perspective on what will help eradicate this pandemic.”