Covid: Fighting the pandemic with boosters is no viable strategy, the WHO claims

Published by Manon C. · Published on 12 January 2022 at 12h13
This Tuesday January 11, 2022, the World Health Organization warms the strategy consisting in fighting the pandemic with boosters is not the right one.

As 120 countries have started their vaccination campaign for a third dose, the World Health Organization Director General – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus – claimed this past December 23, “no country can boost its way out of the pandemic. And boosters cannot be seen as a ticket to go ahead with planned celebrations”.

He went on: “Blanket booster [programs] are likely to prolong the pandemic, rather than ending it, by diverting supply to countries that already have high levels of vaccination coverage, giving the virus more opportunity to spread and mutate”.

This Tuesday January 11, 2022, several WHO experts entrusting with the supervision of vaccines, agree with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a release. They warn fighting the Covid pandemic with boosters is not a viable strategy. "A vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable", they say. The latter consider "Covid-19 vaccines that have high impact on prevention of infection and transmission, in addition to the prevention of severe disease and death, are needed and should be developed".

"Until such vaccines are available, and as the SARS-CoV-2 virus evolves, the composition of current COVID-19 vaccines may need to be updated, to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide WHO-recommended levels of protection against infection and disease" caused by variants, including Omicron, experts state.

As a matter of fact, WHO says giving booster shots to people already enjoying a complete vaccinal scheme is not enough to exit the pandemic, on the contrary. “It’s important to remember that the vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths are in unvaccinated people, not un-boosted people”, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added.

The focus of COVID-19 immunization efforts must remain on decreasing death and severe disease, and the protection of the health care system. Public health and social measures continue to be an essential component of the COVID-19 prevention strategy, especially in light of the Omicron variant”, the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) stated. Among countries that started giving the 3rd dose, “no low-income country has yet introduced a booster vaccination [program]”, only wealthy or medium-income countries have.

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