(PresidentialInsider.com)- Some leading nations are ignoring the calls of the World Health Organization and are plowing ahead with plans to offer booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccine.
France, Israel and Germany are all moving ahead with the plan for the booster shots, despite the WHO asking developed nations to hold off on the boosters until more people in other countries are vaccinated.
The WHO is particularly concerned about the inequities across the world. As poorer countries are struggling just to get COVID-19 vaccines distributed, more developed countries are already pressing forward with offering booster shots for additional protection.
Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, said his country would starting rolling out the booster shots in September for the country’s elderly people and other people who are more vulnerable to the virus.
Germany’s health ministry said they would start the booster program in September as well. They’ll give the third shots to residents of nursing homes, the very elderly as well as people who are immunocompromised.
Naftali Bennett, the prime minister of Israel, said older citizens would be offered the third shot first. The country began their booster shot program in July. In a statement, Bennett said:
“Whoever is over the age of 60, and has yet to receive the third dose of the vaccine, is six times more susceptible to severe illness and — heaven forbid — death.”
Bennett also said that Israel’s efforts to give a third dose of the vaccine to residents 60 years old and older would give vital data to the rest of the world about the vaccine’s efficacy against the Delta variant.
Israel only distributes the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, so it’s a great case study for that company’s drug.
Bennett said he wasn’t concerned about giving Israel’s residents a third dose because of the size of the country. With only 9.3 million people, Bennett said their vaccine use “doesn’t really affect the world supply significantly.”
The WHO, meanwhile, is concerned that any doses that are given as boosters in rich countries would deplete the supply for poorer countries, who are significantly far behind in their vaccination programs.
In May, for example, countries with high incomes gave out roughly 50 vaccine doses for every 100 people. The WHO said that number has since doubled. In countries with a low income, by contrast, there have been only 1.5 doses for every 100 people administered, and it’s because of a lack of supply.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the chief of the WHO, commented:
“I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant. But we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it.”
For its part, Germany said it would actually be contributing to the rest of the world’s supply. The country’s health ministry said it would donate more than 30 million doses to some poorer countries. In a statement, they said:
“We want to provide the vulnerable groups in Germany with a precautionary third vaccination and at the same time support the vaccination of as many people in the world as possible.”