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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

Fauci: It's not too late to get boosted for the holidays

Anthony Fauci during a Dec. 9 meeting with President Biden and the White House Covid-19 Response Team on the Omicron variant. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios that public health officials are urging people to get COVID-19 vaccine boosters in light of waning antibody immunity and rising infections from Delta.

Driving the news: The Omicron variant is also now spreading in the United States. It's been shown to be highly transmissible and more able to evade vaccines, but a third shot or booster of an mRNA vaccine re-ups protection against Delta and Omicron, Fauci says.

Dec 16, 2021 - Health

CDC committee recommends saying mRNA COVID vaccines 'preferred' over J&J shots

Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Covid-19 vaccine awaits administration at a vaccination clinic in Los Angeles, California on December 15, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

A key U.S. CDC advisory committee voted Thursday to recommend calling mRNA vaccines the preferred COVID vaccine option over Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine for adults due to concerns over increase risk for blood clots.

Driving the news: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices was considering new data from the Johnson & Johnson about how often a rare, but severe blood clot linked to their vaccine occurs.

Dec 17, 2021 - Health

Biden warns of "winter of severe illness" for unvaccinated Americans

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Biden warned unvaccinated Americans on Thursday that the Omicron COVID-19 variant will start to spread more rapidly in the U.S. if they do not receive their shots soon.

Driving the news: Research shows that Omicron is spreading extremely quickly, even among vaccinated people, though experts expect COVID-19 vaccines to protect against severe disease. Researchers estimate that it takes two to three days for the number of Omicron cases to double, per Axios' Caitlin Owens.

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