WHO pushes moratorium on COVID-19 booster shots

The organization cites a lack of data and says nations should prioritize vaccinating more of the world’s population before turning to boosters.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for a moratorium on COVID-19 booster shots until the end of September.

According to a report from The New York Times, the organization is pushing for at least 10 percent of the population of every country to have been vaccinated before nations turn to further dosing those who’ve already received the shots.

“To make that happen, we need everyone’s cooperation, especially the handful of countries and companies that control the global supply of vaccines,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in an Aug. 4 briefing.

CNBC reports that the moratorium is also tied to a lack of data on whether the additional shots are necessary to increase protection against emerging variants.

In a Q&A posted on the organization’s Twitter account, Kate O'Brien, MD, director of immunization, vaccines, and biologics for WHO, emphasized that there is not enough information at this time to recommend the shots.

If the time comes for the WHO to call for booster shots, the group would probably only recommend them for those most vulnerable to the disease and that it would likely be on a product-by-product basis, according to CNBC.