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.
UnderstandVacine and Mask Mandates in the US
- Vaccine ruleswithOn August 23, the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTechs coronavirus vaccine for people 16 and older, paving the way for an increase in mandates in both the public and private sectors. Private companies are increasingly mandating vaccines for employees. Such mandates arelegally allowedand have relied on judicial challenges.
- Mask rulesWith the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in July recommending that all Americans, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in enclosed public places within areas experiencing outbreaks, a reversal of the guidelines it provided in May. See where the CDC guideline would apply and where states have established their own mask policies. The battle for masks has become controversial in some states, with some local leaders opposing state bans.
- Colleges and universities.More than 400 colleges and universities are demanding that students be vaccinated against Covid-19. Almost everyone is in the states that voted for President Biden.
- schoolBoth California and New York have introduced vaccine mandates for educational staff. A poll released in August found that many American parents of school-age children are against mandatory vaccinations for students, but were more supportive of masked mandates for students, teachers and staff members who do not have their own vaccinations.
- Hospitals and medical centerswithMany major hospitals and health systems are demanding that employees receive a Covid-19 vaccine, citing increased Delta-induced case loads and stubbornly low vaccination levels in their communities, even within their workforce. .
- New York CityWith Proof of Vaccination is required from employees and customers for meals at home, gyms, shows and other indoor situations, although implementation does not begin until September 13th. Teachers and other education staff in the city-wide school system will need to have at least one vaccine dose by September 27, without the possibility of weekly testing. City hospital workers must also get a vaccine or undergo weekly testing. Similar rules are set for New York State employees.
- At the federal level. The Pentagon announced it would require coronavirus vaccinations to be mandatory for 1.3 million troops in the country, no later than mid-September. President Biden announced that all federal civilian employees should be vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo regular testing, social distancing, mask requirements, and restrictions on most trips.
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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