WHO head Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus faulted wealthy nations for advocating widespread use of COVID-19 boosters while billions of people across the globe remain unvaccinated.
Ghebreyesus concluded that the situation could lead to more potentially dangerous SARS-CoV-2 mutations.
The WHO has asked wealthy countries to prioritize vaccine initiatives in countries with low vaccination rates over COVID-19 booster initiatives in areas with significant vaccination rates until at least 40% of the population across the world had received at least one dose.
The WHO recently joined leaders from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Trade Organization, Gavi and UNICEF to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination in low-income and lower-middle-income countries.
At present, less than 5% of the population in low-income countries is fully vaccinated.
“No country can boost its way out of the pandemic,” Ghebreyesus said at a recent press conference.
Yet health officials in many countries, including the U.S., UK, Switzerland and Israel, have embraced boosters to fight an uptick in infections resulting from the omicron variant. In addition, Israel has moved to become the first country to recommend a fourth vaccine dose for some of its citizens.