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Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The World Health Organization on Wednesday doubled down on calls for wealthy countries with large supplies of coronavirus vaccines to forgo booster shots through the end of the year.

The big picture: The WHO director's comments come as the Biden administration weighs offering COVID booster shots later this month, and as a global vaccine disparity persists.

  • WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus previously called for a moratorium on booster shots through the end of September, the Associated Press reports.
  • At the current pace of vaccinations, low-income countries would need to increase their daily vaccination rate by nearly 19 times to reach 40% coverage by the end of 2021, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.

What they're saying: "I will not stay silent when companies and countries that control the global supply of vaccines think the world’s poor should be satisfied with leftovers," Tedros said during a Wednesday news conference.

  • Tedros also said he was "appalled" after the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association indicated that wealthy nations now have enough doses to allow for both booster shots and vaccinations in countries with shortages.
  • "In reality, manufacturers and high-income countries have long had the capacity to not only vaccinate their own priority groups, but to simultaneously support the vaccination of those same groups in all countries," he said.

Go deeper: The global vaccine failure

Go deeper

14 hours ago - Health

We're the architects of our own COVID destiny

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

We're almost certainly going to have to live with the coronavirus, in some form, for the foreseeable future. But what that means will be shaped in large part by what we do now.

Why it matters: More than half of the world — and a substantial portion of Americans — remains unvaccinated. Getting these rates up could mean the difference between the virus becoming a back-burner nuisance, or something that continues to define our lives for years to come.

14 hours ago - Health

A second flu

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Whatever living with the virus looks like, Delta-level surges aren't considered to be sustainable for the public or the hospitals that will treat the seriously infected.

Why it matters: A major determinant of how seriously we'll take the coronavirus in the future is how many hospitalizations and deaths it's causing — and whether our health system can handle the load.

NYC schools prepare for staffing shortages ahead of vaccine mandate deadline

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in the Brooklyn borough of New York, the United States, on Sept. 13, 2021. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

Teachers and workers at New York City schools have until Monday to receive their COVID-19 vaccine before the city's mandate takes effect, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the city, ABC 7 reports.

Why it matters: About 6,000 teachers remain unvaccinated as the mandate's deadline looms, the New York Times reports.

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