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“Appalled” by rich countries hogging vaccines, WHO extends booster moratorium

September 8, 2021

The director-general for the World Health Organization on Wednesday called for a longer moratorium on high-income countries administering COVID-19 booster shots—extending the agency’s requested moratorium from the end of September to at least the end of 2021.

The call is likely to raise more scientific and ethical questions on the need and timing for boosters as many high-income countries are already beginning or at least planning to roll them out. In the US, the Biden administration said it is prepared to offer third doses the week of September 20. However, the decision has already drawn criticism from US experts who say the medical need for third doses is not yet clear, and the decision to offer them overstepped review by the Food and Drug Administration and expert advisers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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