WHO: Focus on Covid jabs for all first, boosters later | World News

  • WHO director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus said deaths were again rising due to the pandemic and the Delta variant was becoming dominant.

Agencies | , Geneva, London

PUBLISHED ON JUL 13, 2021 03:50 AM IST

Rich countries shouldn’t be ordering booster shots for their vaccinated populations while other countries have yet to receive Covid-19 vaccines, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

WHO director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus said deaths were again rising due to the pandemic and the Delta variant was becoming dominant. “The Delta variant is ripping around the world at a scorching pace, driving a new spike in Covid-19 cases and death,” Tedros said, noting that the variant has been found in more than 104 countries.

The WHO’s chief scientist advised against people mixing and matching Covid vaccines from different makers, calling it a “dangerous trend” since there was little data available about the health impact. “It’s a little bit of a dangerous trend here,” said Soumya Swaminathan.

Earlier, the WHO’s Covid-19 technical lead Maria van Kerkhove said it was “devastating” to watch unmasked crowds singing and shouting at the Euro 2020 football final at the Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday.

Israel launches third jab for vulnerable people

Israel on Monday began administering a third shot of the Pfizer vaccine to patients with compromised immune systems. Those immediately eligible for a third shot include people who have had heart, lung and kidney transplants as well as some cancer patients.

China’s two major Covid-19 vaccine makers have signed agreements to provide up to 550 million doses to Covax, a UN-backed distribution plan.

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