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Gavi alliance CEO Dr. Seth Berkley in 2016. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

Seth Berkley, CEO of the Gavi vaccine alliance and head of the global COVAX initiative, wrote in Buzzfeed on Wednesday that focusing on COVID-19 booster shots alone to combat the recent wave of cases is a "dangerous mistake."

Driving the news: Berkley's op-ed comes at a time when the Omicron variant is spreading extremely quickly — even among vaccinated people — and represents a majority of COVID-19 cases right now — 58.6%, according to the CDC.

The big picture: Berkley said that even in the Omicron era, global vaccinations are still the most effective way to protect people, though not everyone around the world has access to them.

  • Berkley urged officials around the world that the priority for 2022 should be getting primary COVID-19 doses to everyone, not just boosters to those who are vaccinated.

What he's saying: "If the priority with each new variant of concern is to race toward reopening society by offering boosters instead of tackling the root cause — namely, the fact that nearly 3.5 billion people still have not been vaccinated — then we could face an endless cycle of resurgences and leave the door open for more dangerous variants," Berkley said.

  • "The danger now with Omicron is that if governments once again turn their attention inward and focus all attention toward making boosters available to their citizens, it could again start to hinder equitable access and further prolong the global crisis," he added.
  • "If we end up in a situation where we face Pi, Rho, Sigma, or Tao variants, and fourth, fifth, or sixth booster shots are being offered to some people while billions of others are still waiting on their first, then we really shouldn’t wonder why we are still in a state of global crisis," Berkley said.

Go deeper: The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker
Hope King, author of Closer
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.

First look: Senators propose bill to ban corporate PACs

Sens. Jon Ossoff and Mark Kelly. Photos: Chip Somodevilla (left), Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) will soon propose a bill prohibiting for-profit corporations from establishing and managing political action committees, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The introduction of "The Ban Corporate PACs Act" comes amid heightened scrutiny on Capitol Hill regarding money in politics, including efforts to bar companies from influencing political campaigns and federal elections. It would likely face a court challenge and First Amendment concerns.