Tulsa World

WHO chief wants to pause boosters

Tedros says more doses are first needed for poorer countries

- JAMEY KEATEN

GENEVA — As U.S. COVID-19 deaths per day climbed back up

to where they were in March, the head of the World Health Organizati­on on Wednesday doubled down on an earlier appeal for a “moratorium” on booster shots that has largely been ignored.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu­s said rich countries with large supplies of coronaviru­s vaccines should refrain from offering boosters through the end of the year and make the doses available for poorer countries.

Tedros also said he was “appalled” after hearing comments

Tuesday from a top associatio­n of pharmaceut­ical manufactur­ers that vaccine supplies are high enough to allow for both booster shots for people in well-supplied countries and first jabs in poorer countries that face shortages.

Meanwhile, the summer that was supposed to mark America’s independen­ce from COVID-19 is instead drawing to a close with the U.S. more firmly under the tyranny of the virus.

The delta variant is filling hospitals, sickening alarming numbers of children and driving coronaviru­s deaths in some places to the highest levels of the entire pandemic.

The U.S. death toll stands at more than 650,000, with one major forecast model projecting it will top 750,000 by Dec. 1. The U.S. recorded 26,800 deaths and more than 4.2 million infections in August.

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