US rejects WHO appeal on booster shots

US rejects WHO's appeal for moratorium on COVID-19 booster shots and for rich countries to focus on supplying poorer nations.

Elad Benari ,

Press Secretary Jen Psaki
Press Secretary Jen Psaki
Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith

The United States on Wednesday rejected an appeal from the World Health Organization (WHO) for a moratorium on COVID-19 vaccine booster shots and for rich countries to focus instead on supplying poorer nations.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had earlier urged the countries and companies controlling the supply of vaccine doses to prioritize addressing the drastic inequity in vaccine distribution between rich and poor nations.

"We definitely feel that it's a false choice and we can do both," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters later, according to AFP.

"Also in this country (we) have enough supply to ensure that every American has access to a vaccine," she added.

"We will have enough supply to ensure if the FDA decides that boosters are recommended for a portion of the population to provide those as well. We believe we can do both and we don't need to make that choice," said Psaki.

Israel last week launched its mass vaccination campaign promoting a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

President Isaac Herzog and his wife, Michal, were the first to receive the third dose, with Bennett accompanying the two at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.

Israel is the first country in the world to offer a third dose of the COVID vaccine, with the government urging Israelis over the age of 60 to receive a third jab to combat the spread of the delta variant.

Britain will also offer booster vaccines against COVID-19 to 32 million citizens starting early next month with up to 2,000 pharmacies set to deliver the program.

Germany has also announced it will start offering COVID-19 booster shots as of September.