The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed displeasure over the third dose or booster shot being given in rich countries amid the lack of vaccine in poor countries. The organization says that rich countries are taking the third dose six times more than people in poor countries are getting the first dose every day. Terming this disparity a ‘scandal’, the head of the organization, Dr Tedros Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said it should be stopped immediately.
The WHO has consistently criticized rich countries over the disparity in vaccine coverage. On the one hand, while rich countries have started giving booster shots with higher doses, on the other hand poor countries still do not have enough doses to give to their frontline workers, the elderly and other people at high risk. In August also, WHO appealed to rich countries not to give booster shots.
92 countries ignored WHO’s appeal
Ignoring the appeal of WHO, America and Germany etc. have started giving booster shots to their population. So far 92 countries have finalized plans to give booster shots and none of them are low-income countries. The dose given to increase immunity is called a booster shot, while the dose given to people who do not produce enough antibodies by taking two doses is called the third dose.
Only 4.5 percent of the population of poor countries got the first dose
The organization said that about 30 million doses are being administered daily in the world, of which a quarter are booster shots or a third dose. The data shows that only 4.5 percent of the population in low-income countries have received their first dose of vaccine so far, while many wealthy countries have fully vaccinated more than half their population. The need for booster shots is also being debated in many places.