World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the rising use of coronavirus vaccine booster shots "immoral" and "unfair," calling for authorities to stop the administration of the third shots.
The official noted that the use of booster shots in many regions in the United States was unjust amid the continued lack of vaccine doses in countries such as Africa. During an interview, Ghebreyesus said that the start of the administration of booster shots is the worst that the global community can do amid the lack of access to vaccines of other nations.
Coronavirus Vaccine Booster Shots 'Immoral', 'Unfair'
The WHO director-general said that the coronavirus pandemic will not be stopped if an entire continent was ignored and denied support. He argued that Africa did not have any manufacturing capacity or other means to raise its supply of the coronavirus vaccine.
While the global health organization has recommended the use of an additional vaccine dose, they placed priority on people who were considered immunocompromised. Officials have strongly opposed the administration of third shots to the general public. The WHO wanted more people worldwide to be fully vaccinated first before they recommend the use of booster shots to the average person, CNN reported.
The situation comes as the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday began discussions of whether or not more Americans should receive coronavirus booster shots. The agency released data that suggested an additional dose of the treatment from Moderna that is given at least six months after the first two doses resulted in increased antibody levels against the disease.
Available data from both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters will be reviewed by an independent advisory panel of experts in a two-day meeting later this week. Members of the panel will vote on whether or not to recommend emergency authorization of boosters from both pharmaceutical companies.
On Tuesday, Moderna released documents that argued the third injection from their vaccine was needed due to the potency of its vaccine decreasing over time. They noted that six to eight months after the second dose, a person's levels of neutralizing antibodies waned. Company officials added that "real-world evidence of reduced effectiveness against the Delta variant" was another reason to have the booster shots, the New York Times reported.
The FDA previously authorized a third, full-strength Moderna vaccine dose for people who had compromised immune systems. On the other hand, a Johnson & Johnson analysis found that a booster dose is given to individuals aged 18 years and older six months or more after their first inoculation had a favorable risk-benefit balance.
The data and growing need to protect residents from the coronavirus vaccine have resulted in more and more regions in the United States considering the administration of a booster shot against the coronavirus pandemic. This came as Johnson & Johnson conducted a separate study that showed the potential side effects of the booster shot.
Johnson & Johson revealed that as of the end of August, there have been roughly 33.5 million doses of its vaccines administered to people worldwide. The company noted that 14.3 million of those inoculations were in the United States, NPR reported.