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WHO head calls for two-month vaccine booster moratorium

The head of the World Health Organization calls for a two-month moratorium on administering booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines as a means of reducing global vaccine inequality and preventing the emergence of new coronavirus variants.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tells reporters in Hungary’s capital, Budapest, that he is “really disappointed” with the scope of vaccine donations worldwide as many countries struggle to provide first and second doses to more than small fractions of their populations while wealthier nations maintain growing vaccine stockpiles.

Tedros calls on countries offering third vaccine doses “to share what can be used for boosters with other countries so [they] can increase their first and second vaccination coverage.”

Several countries including the United States, Israel, and Hungary, as well as others in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, are already offering or planning to offer their populations COVID-19 booster shots.

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