African CDC director urges wealthy nations to forgo Covid vaccine boosters

The decision of some rich countries to offer booster shots will hamper access to the coronavirus vaccine for low-income countries, the d...


The decision of some rich countries to offer booster shots will hamper access to the coronavirus vaccine for low-income countries, the director of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday, arguing that he did not There is no conclusive evidence that healthy people who are not immunocompromised need the extra kick.

In rich countries – including Germany, France, Israel and the United States – there has been growing dynamic to offer doses to certain vulnerable populations, including the elderly, and the general public.

“The problem we have with the third doses is that we haven’t seen enough science behind them,” director Dr John Nkengasong said Thursday at an online press conference with reporters. “It’s still really confusing for me why we’re heading towards a broad recommendation for a booster dose.”

By offering booster shots, he added, “we will surely play.”

The World Health Organization has warned that booster shots could divert vaccine supplies from countries with largely unvaccinated populations. On Wednesday, the agency urged rich countries not to give boosters to healthy patients. at least until the end of the year as a means of enabling each country to immunize at least 40 percent of its population.

WHO officials have attempted to distinguish between booster injections that increase immunity in previously vaccinated populations and additional doses that may be needed by immunocompromised to develop immunity in the first place. The authorities are not opposed to additional doses for the immunocompromised.

Despite the flurry of booster programs in wealthier countries, the science of whether they are needed is not yet clear.

Some studies suggest that the protection offered by vaccines against infections and mild illnesses may be in decline. But they stay very efficient prevent the worst consequences, including serious illness and death, and scientists said a general recommendation for recalls was premature.

However, experts generally agree that a third blow is justified for people with weakened immune systems, who may not have developed a strong immune response to the initial doses. Several countries, including the United States, are now offering additional vaccines to this vulnerable group.

Dr Nkengasong’s comments came as WHO Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said on Thursday that the continent will receive fewer doses of the Covid-19 vaccine than expected for the rest of the year from Covax, the global immunization program.

Wednesday, Covax reduced his dose forecasts available in 2021 of about a quarter, another setback for an effort that has been hampered by production problems, export bans and hoarding of vaccines by the rich nations. Dr Moeti said the reduced number of doses was “partly due to the priority given to bilateral agreements over international solidarity”.

About 3 percent of Africa’s population, or 39 million 1.3 billion people, have been fully immunized and 72 percent of all doses received have been administered, according to the WHO.

The African continent is emerging from a severe third wave of the pandemic, driven largely by the Delta variant.

The continent has so far reported 7.9 million cases and over 200,000 deaths from the virus as of Thursday, according to the Africa CDC

Dr Nkengasong said rich countries should first honor their pledges to donate hundreds of millions of doses, to help end the acute phase of the pandemic.

Dr Moeti said these given doses were not only the clearest way out of the pandemic, but would help ease already strained health systems. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, faces a meningitis epidemic and the risk of resurgence of deadly diseases like measles.

“If producing countries and companies prioritize vaccine equity, this pandemic can end quickly,” said Dr Moeti.

Emily Anthes contributed reporting.

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Newsrust - US Top News: African CDC director urges wealthy nations to forgo Covid vaccine boosters
African CDC director urges wealthy nations to forgo Covid vaccine boosters
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