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CDC Africa director urges Rich Nations to drop Covid vaccine promoters




The decision by some wealthy nations to offer booster injections will block access to coronavirus vaccines for low-income countries, the director of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday, arguing that there is no conclusive evidence that humans healthy people who are not immunocompromised need an extra stroke.

In affluent countries including Germany, France, Israel and the United States there has been growing momentum to provide additional doses to some vulnerable populations, including senior citizens and to the general public.

The problem we have with the third doses is that we have not seen enough science behind them, said the director, Dr John Nkengasong, in an online press conference with reporters on Thursday. It really is still confusing to me why we are heading towards a big recommendation for a booster dose.

Offering boosting strokes, he added, we will certainly be gambling.

The World Health Organization has warned that booster injections could divert vaccine supplies from countries with predominantly unvaccinated populations. On Wednesday, the agency urged rich countries to stop administering vaccines to healthy patients by at least the end of the year, as a way to enable each country to vaccinate at least 40 percent of their population.

WHO officials have tried to distinguish between booster injections that boost immunity in already vaccinated populations, and additional doses that may be needed by people with compromised immunity to develop immunity in the first place. Officials are not against extra doses for people with compromised immunity.

Despite the flood of incentive programs in the richest nations, science whether they are needed is not yet clear.

Some studies suggest that the protection provided by vaccines against infection and minor illnesses may be declining. But they remain very effective in preventing the worst outcomes, including serious illness and death, and scientists have said a general recommendation for stimulants is premature.

Experts generally agree, however, that a third shot is guaranteed for people with compromised immune systems, who may not have given a strong immune response to the initial doses. Several countries, including the United States, are now offering additional photos of this vulnerable group.

Comments of Dr. The Nkengasongs came after the director of the WHO in Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said on Thursday that the continent will receive fewer doses of Covid-19 vaccine than expected for the rest of the year from Covax, the global immunization program.

On Wednesday, Covax cut it forecast for available doses in 2021 roughly a quarter, another obstacle to an effort that has been hampered by production problems, export bans, and the collection of vaccines from rich nations. Dr. Moeti said fewer doses were partly due to the priority of bilateral agreements over international solidarity.

About 3 percent of Africa’s population, or 39 million out of 1.3 billion people, have been fully vaccinated, and 72 percent of all doses taken have been administered, according to the WHO.

The African continent is coming from a third severe wave of pandemic, driven mainly by the Delta variant.

The continent has so far reported 7.9 million cases and over 200,000 deaths from the virus as of Thursday, according to the CDC of Africa

Dr Nkengasong said rich nations must first meet their commitments to donate hundreds of millions of doses in order to help end the acute phase of the pandemic.

Dr. Moeti said those donated doses were not only the clearest way out of the pandemic, but would help alleviate already strained health care systems. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, is dealing with one meningitis outbreak and the risk of revival of deadly diseases as measles.

“If manufacturing countries and companies prioritize vaccine parity, this pandemic could end quickly,” he said. Moeti.

Emily Anthes contributed to the report.




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