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HEALTH

Covid: WHO calls for booster pause to vaccinate poorer nations

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for a suspension on booster vaccines for Covid-19 until at least the end of September.

WHO Chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a pause would allow for at least 10% of the population in every country to be vaccinated.

A number of nations including Israel and Germany have announced plans to administer a third dose.

But Dr Tedros has warned poorer nations are falling behind.

According to the WHO, low-income countries have only been able to administer 1.5 doses for every 100 people due to a lack of supply.

Dr Tedros said that there needs to be a reversal and that the majority of vaccines should go to lower income countries.

“I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant. But we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it,” he added.

It is a strong call from the WHO, as the agency attempts to narrow the gap between high-income and low-income nations.

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It had wanted 10% of people in every country to be vaccinated by next month, but that target is unlikely to be met on the current trajectory.

In Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo, none of the population has received two doses of the vaccine.

Indonesia, which has seen infections and deaths spike in recent months due to the Delta variant, has only fully vaccinated 7.9% of its population, according to Our World in Data.

Meanwhile Israel began rolling out a booster shot for the over 60s, while Germany announced on Tuesday that it would start offering third doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. In the UK, millions of people classed as vulnerable could be offered a booster from September.

The US has not announced a policy on booster vaccinations but the White House said on Wednesday that it has enough doses to distribute vaccines abroad while also ensuring Americans can be fully vaccinated.

“We definitely feel like it’s a false choice and we can do both,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

This is not the first time that Dr Tedros has called on richer nations to donate vaccine supplies to low-income countries.

Dr Tedros urged countries to supply more vaccines to the global fair-access scheme Covax. However a number of countries, including the UK, are pressing ahead with plans to vaccinate children and teenagers.

Global vaccine rollout

World
53.6
4,177,097,771
China
115.8
1,675,759,221
India
34.2
472,223,639
US
103.6
346,456,669
Brazil
67.0
142,488,679
Germany
109.9
92,054,374
Japan
69.1
87,381,662
UK
127.5
85,196,986
Turkey
87.1
73,493,059
France
107.6
72,673,342
Italy
113.7
68,742,231
Indonesia
24.9
68,151,247
Mexico
52.2
67,355,342
Russia
42.6
62,225,609
Spain
120.2
56,186,601
Canada
131.2
49,525,366
Poland
91.0
34,429,956
Argentina
71.1
32,148,787
Pakistan
13.8
30,590,183
Colombia
54.1
27,524,377
Saudi Arabia
78.5
27,322,817
Chile
134.1
25,642,416
South Korea
49.7
25,460,280
Morocco
64.5
23,802,188
Malaysia
65.5
21,200,473
Netherlands
115.3
19,751,575
Philippines
17.7
19,359,927
United Arab Emirates
170.0
16,810,996
Thailand
22.9
15,960,778
Belgium
123.4
14,302,977
Peru
39.9
13,152,285
Bangladesh
8.0
13,141,815
Australia
48.3
12,317,727
Cambodia
73.2
12,232,259
Portugal
118.9
12,120,727
Sri Lanka
56.5
12,098,889
Ecuador
64.7
11,419,806
Israel
129.0
11,165,761
Sweden
104.6
10,565,358
Greece
101.1
10,538,744
Czech Republic
96.8
10,363,742
Iran
12.1
10,168,674
Hungary
105.1
10,155,466
Dominican Republic
93.5
10,140,333
Austria
107.9
9,719,928
Cuba
85.2
9,650,235
Romania
48.9
9,406,063
Kazakhstan
49.0
9,208,838
Switzerland
103.3
8,938,866
Taiwan
34.7
8,270,213
Singapore
129.5
7,576,612
Denmark
126.9
7,353,133
South Africa
12.3
7,297,912
Vietnam
6.6
6,415,219
Nepal
20.2
5,877,759
Ireland
118.5
5,849,924
Uzbekistan
17.3
5,803,255
Finland
102.0
5,653,654
Ukraine
12.9
5,632,783
Serbia
81.4
5,536,170
Norway
99.0
5,366,042
Egypt
5.2
5,337,506
Jordan
51.6
5,265,074
Azerbaijan
49.7
5,040,778
Uruguay
137.8
4,788,109
Bolivia
38.8
4,526,177
El Salvador
66.4
4,309,189
Slovakia
77.3
4,219,810
Mongolia
127.0
4,161,918
Venezuela
14.1
4,000,000
Nigeria
1.9
3,938,945
Qatar
132.0
3,804,298
Myanmar
6.4
3,500,000
Algeria
7.8
3,421,279
Costa Rica
62.7
3,193,895
Croatia
75.0
3,078,364
Tunisia
22.5
2,663,438
Lithuania
97.8
2,661,387
Panama
59.6
2,573,226
Kuwait
55.6
2,375,455
Bahrain
136.0
2,314,773
Zimbabwe
15.3
2,275,416
Ethiopia
1.9
2,217,097
Belarus
23.2
2,194,993
Guatemala
12.1
2,160,074
Paraguay
29.8
2,123,997
Bulgaria
29.2
2,030,301
Lebanon
28.6
1,949,258
Honduras
19.3
1,912,232
Laos
26.0
1,895,038
Oman
37.0
1,887,421
New Zealand
36.5
1,759,154
Slovenia
83.2
1,730,293
Kenya
3.2
1,707,734
Angola
4.8
1,592,537
Afghanistan
3.5
1,381,416
Latvia
71.7
1,352,836
Ghana
4.1
1,271,393
Albania
41.7
1,198,933
Mauritius
90.9
1,156,482
Uganda
2.5
1,143,763
Estonia
85.5
1,133,844
Iraq
2.7
1,087,866
Moldova
25.9
1,044,529
Palestinian Territories
19.7
1,007,483
Cyprus
110.4
980,404
Ivory Coast
3.6
959,349
Senegal
5.4
906,557
North Macedonia
43.4
904,583
Sudan
1.8
810,560
Guinea
6.1
804,122
Malta
172.1
759,818
Luxembourg
112.2
702,091
Mozambique
2.2
691,040
Rwanda
5.0
646,909
Bosnia and Herzegovina
18.6
611,641
Trinidad and Tobago
42.0
587,720
Maldives
108.0
583,651
Kyrgyzstan
8.9
579,490
Libya
8.0
546,745
Fiji
60.1
538,439
Georgia
12.7
506,780
Malawi
2.6
504,195
Tajikistan
5.2
492,066
Bhutan
63.4
488,872
Iceland
137.8
470,374
Togo
5.5
454,208
Zambia
2.4
438,885
Kosovo
22.2
428,818
Niger
1.7
423,335
Nicaragua
6.3
415,640
Guyana
49.5
389,336
Timor-Leste
27.6
363,269
Botswana
15.0
352,407
Montenegro
52.9
332,022
Cameroon
1.3
331,875
Yemen
1.0
311,483
Equatorial Guinea
21.5
301,413
Jamaica
10.2
300,902
Somalia
1.6
249,790
Suriname
42.1
246,782
Sierra Leone
2.8
225,380
Namibia
8.3
211,410
Congo
3.6
198,698
Madagascar
0.7
197,001
Mali
1.0
196,862
Mauritania
4.2
193,776
Belize
44.2
175,735
Barbados
60.6
174,129
Armenia
5.8
171,890
Brunei
37.5
163,999
Cape Verde
28.7
159,446
Seychelles
143.8
141,435
Jersey
138.8
140,245
Syria
0.7
131,221
Comoros
14.5
125,960
Isle of Man
145.8
123,947
Bahamas
26.6
104,521
Cayman Islands
148.7
97,707
Liberia
1.9
95,423
Central African Republic
1.9
93,790
Guernsey
138.4
92,775
Papua New Guinea
1.0
88,343
Gabon
3.9
87,181
Bermuda
133.1
82,870
Andorra
106.6
82,349
DR Congo
0.091
81,384
Samoa
40.9
81,114
Gibraltar
232.7
78,406
Lesotho
3.4
72,948
Antigua and Barbuda
70.3
68,850
Eswatini
5.7
65,667
Faroe Islands
130.3
63,660
Greenland
109.3
62,050
Benin
0.5
57,886
Saint Lucia
31.1
57,066
South Sudan
0.5
56,989
Turks and Caicos Islands
122.1
47,263
San Marino
134.3
45,583
Solomon Islands
6.6
45,101
Sao Tome and Principe
20.1
43,960
Saint Kitts and Nevis
82.0
43,640
Gambia
1.8
43,557
Turkmenistan
0.7
41,993
Monaco
103.5
40,630
Dominica
56.2
40,450
Tonga
37.4
39,511
Liechtenstein
102.8
39,205
Burkina Faso
0.2
37,120
Grenada
32.5
36,524
Chad
0.2
29,980
Djibouti
2.7
26,796
British Virgin Islands
87.6
26,501
St Vincent and the Grenadines
23.1
25,635
Guinea-Bissau
1.3
25,225
Vanuatu
7.8
23,995
Cook Islands
116.8
20,509
Anguilla
120.0
18,001
Nauru
136.5
14,784
Saint Helena
130.0
7,892
Haiti
0.058
6,576
Tuvalu
40.5
4,772
Falkland Islands
126.5
4,407
Montserrat
54.6
2,730
Niue
75.2
1,216
Pitcairn
163.8
77
British Indian Ocean Territory
0
0
Burundi
0
0
Eritrea
0
0
Kiribati
0
0
North Korea
0
0
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
0
0
Tanzania
0
0
Tokelau
0
0
Vatican
0
0

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