The World Health Organization (WHO) this Wednesday, August 18 denounced the rush of rich countries for the 3rd dose of vaccine against Covid and pointed out that the data did not demonstrate the need for a booster now.
“We clearly believe that current data does not indicate that recalls are necessary”WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan told a press conference.
It’s necessary “Wait for science to tell us when boosters are needed, which groups of people and which vaccines need boosters”, she explained.
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From a point of view “Moral and ethical”, it is also not good in his eyes that the rich countries inject the 3rd dose “When the rest of the world is waiting for their first injection”.
“Additional life jackets”
But soon after these statements, the United States announced a recall campaign for anti-Covid vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna in late September, with health officials worrying about the decline in immune protection conferred by vaccines over time.
This recall campaign, however, remains suspended from the authorization of an additional dose by the United States Medicines Agency (FDA).
Israel has already launched a campaign for a third dose of the vaccine, for older people, despite the WHO’s call for a moratorium on the practice.
“As long as North-South inequalities persist, the Covid virus will continue to kill and mutate”
Injecting a 3rd dose now is equivalent to “Handing out extra life jackets to people who already have one, while we let others drown without a life jacket”, supported this Wednesday the director of emergencies of the WHO, Mike Ryan, during the press conference.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on leaders to look beyond“Narrow nationalist objectives”.
Concerns about tocilizumab
“Against this background, I was stunned by reports that J&J vaccines assembled and packaged in South Africa are leaving the continent and going to Europe.”, he said, asking this American laboratory to urgently prioritize Africa.
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He also expressed his concern after the recent warning from the pharmaceutical group Roche regarding the supply of tocilizumab (marketed under the name Actemra or RoActemra), an interleukin 6 (IL6) antagonist which the WHO resumed use in June to treat severe forms of Covid.
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“While we welcome and acknowledge that Roche has announced measures to address the shortage, we call on the company to ensure a fair distribution of current stocks of this drug for all countries, including low and middle income countries “, the WHO said in a statement.