US booster plan threatens to exacerbate global vaccine inequities & prolong pandemic

WASHINGTON — The ONE Campaign issued the below statement today on the news that the Biden administration will authorize booster shots in September while many immunocompromised individuals and first responders in low-income countries have yet to receive a single COVID-19 dose. 

Sarah Swinehart, Senior Director of Communications, North America at The ONE Campaign

“The Biden administration’s decision to authorize booster shots for all Americans threatens to widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots. It’s outrageous that a healthy, vaccinated individual will be able to get a third shot before the elderly and health workers in low-income countries can get a single dose. The fact that the US and other wealthy countries are in need of booster shots is an indictment of the world’s failure to have a global plan to end this virus.

“While we understand the Biden administration’s goal to further protect Americans, today’s decision will further exacerbate global vaccine inequities and prolong the pandemic at home and abroad. In order to save lives, reduce the emergence of variants, and stop the spread of COVID-19, the US and wealthy countries must share more doses immediately.”

Background

  • So far, just 1.3 percent of people in low-income countries have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. 
  • Many countries across Africa are experiencing a deadly third wave of the virus that’s killing nearly 900 people daily. 
  • According to analysis by The ONE Campaign, 60 percent of the world’s population live in countries that won’t see widespread vaccine coverage until 2022 or later.

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