According to press reports, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that it remained unclear whether additional COVID-19 vaccine doses are needed to protect against the new Omicron variant and urged developed countries to avoid hoarding the jabs.
The UN health agency’s vaccine advisors warned that a rush to stockpile more jabs, especially without clear evidence they are needed, would only exacerbate the already glaringly unequal vaccine access around the globe.
“As we head into whatever the Omicron situation is going to be, there is a risk that the global supply is again going to revert to high-income countries hoarding vaccine to protect (their populations) … in a sense in excess,” WHO vaccines chief Kate O’Brien told reporters.
The organization’s call comes against the background of vaccine producers’ recommendations of three doses of the vaccine to provide a new level of protection against Omicron as two doses provided against the initial strain.
O’Brien said the WHO was examining the data, and that it may turn out that “additional doses have benefit to provide added protection against Omicron”, but stressed it was still “very early days.”
Edited by Jesus Chan
Do you want to add feedback to this story? Please add a comment in the box below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, Call us at 201-500-7715