On Omicron, WHO Shares A New Concern

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WHO vaccines chief mentioned many susceptible folks in poorer nations are but to get a single dose. (File)

Geneva:

The World Well being Group (WHO) mentioned Thursday it remained unclear whether or not further Covid-19 vaccine doses are wanted to guard towards the brand new Omicron variant, and urged rich nations to keep away from hoarding the jabs.

The UN well being company’s vaccine advisors warned {that a} rush to stockpile extra jabs, particularly with out clear proof they’re wanted, would solely exacerbate the already obviously inequal vaccine entry across the globe.

“As we head into regardless of the Omicron scenario goes to be, there’s a danger that the worldwide provide is once more going to revert to high-income nations hoarding vaccine to guard (their populations)… in a way in extra,” WHO vaccines chief Kate O’Brien informed reporters.

Her remark got here after preliminary outcomes printed Wednesday indicated that three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine had been wanted to acquire the identical degree of safety towards Omicron as two doses supplied towards the preliminary pressure.

O’Brien mentioned the WHO was analyzing the information, and that it could end up that “further doses have profit to supply added safety towards Omicron”, however careworn it was nonetheless “very early days”.

Whereas there was nonetheless little proof that further doses had been wanted to guard towards creating extreme Covid illness, many susceptible folks and well being staff in poorer nations have but to obtain a single dose and stay at nice danger.

O’Brien identified that the world had solely simply begun addressing the damaging inequity in vaccine entry prior to now two months, with extra donated doses and enormous shipments going to underserved nations.

“We’ve to ensure that it continues,” she mentioned, warning that efforts by rich nations to stockpile extra jabs for his or her folks would solely lengthen the pandemic.

“It isn’t going to work from an epidemiologic perspective, and it is not going to work from a transmission perspective, until we even have vaccine going to all nations,” she mentioned.

“The place transmission continues… is the place the variants are going to come back from,” she warned, urging “a way more rational international perspective from nations about what’s truly going to close down this pandemic.”

(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)