Countries with highest vaccination coverage are stockpiling more vaccines, whereas low-income nations are struggling to get even the first dose for their population. “Everyday there are six times more boosters administered globally than primary doses in low-income countries,” Tedros said.
In India, while the government is yet to take a call on booster doses and is focused on ramping up coverage of first and second doses, many states and health experts have started advocating in favour of booster doses, mainly for health workers and elderly who were prioritised to receive the vaccine.
WHO officials underlined unequal distribution of jabs can pose risks not only to countries with low vaccination coverage but also to others as economies are opening up, restrictions are being lifted and travel has begun.
Noting that over 100 countries are still short of vaccinating even 40% of their population with first dose of the vaccine, the WHO said an additional 550 million doses are required to achieve the target of vaccinating at least 40% of the population of every country by end of this year.