World Health Organization says COVID-19 booster is needed, reverses previous call

(Geneva) —A group of experts convened by the World Health Organization on Tuesday said it was “strongly in favor of urgent and widespread access” to booster dosereverses previous assertions by the United Nations agency that boosters are unnecessary and contribute to vaccine inequality.

In a statement, WHO said its expert group had concluded that immunization with the authorized COVID-19 vaccine provides a high level of protection against serious illness and death in the context of the pandemic. Global circulation of extremely serious infectious diseases. Omicron variant.

It said vaccinations, including the use of boosters, are especially important for those at risk of severe illness.

Last year, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called for a moratorium on booster doses while dozens of countries work on dose management, saying that rich countries should immediately donate those vaccines. for poor countries. The WHO scientists said at the time they would continue to evaluate the incoming data.
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Numerous scientific studies since then have demonstrated that booster doses of the vaccine are allowed to help restore weakened immunity and protect against severe COVID-19. Boosted programs in wealthy nations including the UK, Canada and the US have been credited with stopping a surge in Omicron infections spilling over into hospitals and cemeteries.

WHO says it is continuing to monitor the global spread of Omicron, including The “stealth” version is called BA.2, has been reported to re-infect several people after a first case of Omicron. There is mixed research on whether it causes more severe illness, but the vaccine appears to be effective against it.

The WHO notes that the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines are all based on the virus strain first detected in Wuhan, China more than three years ago.

“Since then, there has been continued and substantial viral evolution and it is likely that this evolution will continue, leading to the emergence of new variants,” the agency said. this agency said. It added that the coronavirus vaccine will likely need to be updated.

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