World Health Organization chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said in a recent interview that sif the coronavirus pandemic were a marathon, humanity would be approaching “60% of the way.”
However, the scientist clarified that it was not yet time to claim victory since the WHO does not rule out the emergence of possible new variants of the coronavirus that delay the entire process. “It cannot be ruled out that we have to climb another unexpected mountain,” said the scientific
In addition, he argued that it would be premature to say that we will soon emerge from the pandemic, since that is most likely not the case.
For Swaminathan this is due to the fact that there is no global inequity in the distribution of vaccines, making it possible to incubate new variants in parts of the world where there are very low vaccination rates that threaten countries with even 70% or less. 80% of its population vaccinated.
Regions such as Africa, the scientist highlights, have “less than 4% of the vaccinated population”, warning that “the more we tolerate this situation, the more possibilities there are for new variants to emerge.”
For this reason, the WHO calls for all available doses to be used to increase the vaccination rate globally. Only then should booster shots be a problem.
Swaminathan differentiated a booster vaccine from a third dose, since the latter are necessary for certain groups, such as immunosuppressed people or the very old who do not show a strong immune response to vaccination.
But, on the other hand, general reinforcement campaigns for the entire adult population are not ethical because they do not prevent deaths or help to overcome the pandemic and only monopolize the vaccines available in the richest countries.