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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The World Health Organization anticipates vulnerable populations will need to get an annual COVID-19 booster shot to be protected against variants, while the general population may need one every two years, Reuters reports, citing an internal document.

Why it matters: The WHO forecasts that the need for boosters in wealthier countries could push poorer nations, which have barely received any vaccine, to the back of the line and further widen the gap of vaccine inequality.

Yes, but: The document does not say how these conclusions were reached and notes it's still a "work in progress."

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's advisory committee said the vulnerable, like the elderly and transplant recipients, might need annual boosters but there was yet not enough evidence to support the need for boosters for the general population.

  • Pfizer and Moderna have publicly been in support of boosters but there has been little long-term scientific evidence.

The big picture: The estimates are expected to be discussed on Thursday at a board meeting of Gavi, a vaccine alliance that co-leads COVAX.

Go deeper

Updated 18 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up — Team USA to mandate vaccine for Winter Olympic hopefuls — U.S. to buy 500 million more Pfizer doses to share with the world.
  2. Health: Some experts see signs of hope as cases fall — WHO: Nearly 1 in 4 Afghan COVID hospitals shut after Taliban takeover — D.C. goes further than area counties with vaccine mandates.
  3. Politics: Bolsonaro isolating after health minister tests positive at UN summit — United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated — Mormon Church to mandate masks in temples.
  4. Education: Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine — Education Department investigating Texas mask mandate ban — D.C. schools to require teachers, staff to receive vaccine without testing option.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Photo: James D. Morgan via Getty Images

United Airlines said Wednesday that over 97% of its U.S.-based employees are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a company memo obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: United announced in August that it would require its 67,000 U.S.-based employees to get vaccinated by Sept. 27 or face termination. It's one of several airlines that set vaccine requirements even before President Biden issued his own vaccine mandate for employers with over 100 workers.

Sep 21, 2021 - Health

D.C. school employees required to get vaccinated

Photo: Jacquelyn Martin-Pool/Getty Images

All D.C. school and daycare employees — public, private, and charter — must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1 with no option to test out, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced today.

  • Student athletes over the age of 12 will also be required to get vaccinated in order to participate in after-school programs, the mandate says.