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WHO says COVID boosters are needed, reversing a previous call

Virus Outbreak Guatemala
Moises Castillo
/
AP
A healthcare worker administers an AstraZeneca booster shot for COVID 19 at a vaccination center in Guatemala City, Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

WHO said its expert group concluded that immunization provide high levels of protection against severe disease and death amid the global circulation of the omicron variant.

An expert group convened by the World Health Organization said it “strongly supports urgent and broad access” to coronavirus vaccines, including booster doses.

The call is a reversal of the U.N. health agency’s previous insistence that booster doses weren’t necessary and contributing to vaccine inequity.

In a statement on Tuesday, WHO said its expert group concluded that immunization with authorized COVID-19 vaccines provide high levels of protection against severe disease and death amid the global circulation of the hugely contagious omicron variant.

Last year, WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for a moratorium on booster doses, pleading with rich countries to donate their vaccines instead.

Click here to read more of this article from the Associated Press.