The WHO boss on Wednesday called for a temporary ban on booster doses of the Kovid vaccine.
“We urgently need to turn things around: from vaccines going to rich countries to the majority going to poorer countries,” Tedros Adhanam Ghebreas said at a WHO press briefing in Geneva.
The owner of the UN agency has been denouncing the vaccine inequality for months, meaning that 1.5 out of 100 people in poor countries receive the vaccine dose against 100 out of 100 in rich countries.
He responded by announcing campaigns for a third dose (for vaccines requiring two initial doses) or a “dose booster” for Germany and Israel.
In May, Dr. Tedros launched a challenge: to vaccinate 10% of the population in all countries of the world by September.
“To get there, we need the cooperation of all, especially some of the countries and companies that control global vaccine production,” Dr. Tedros said.
He specifically called on pharmaceutical groups to promote the Kovacs system, an international system set up to fight vaccine inequality and especially to help 92 poorer countries provide immunity to their populations.
At present, Kovacs is unable to fulfill its mission due to a shortage of doses and is only able to deliver a portion of what was originally planned.
Of the 4 billion doses worldwide, 80% are shipped to high- and middle-income countries, but they make up less than 50% of the world’s population.
Dr. Bruce Ileward, Kovacs in-charge at the WHO, agreed that the end of September was an ambitious goal.