No need for COVID booster jabs for now: WHO

Speaking at a press conference, WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan, asked about the need for boosters to increase protection against the disease: "We believe clearly that the data today does not indicate that boosters are needed."

The comments came just before the U.S. government said it planned to make the booster shots widely available to all Americans starting on Sept. 20 as infections from the Delta variant of the coronavirus rise.

WHO adviser Bruce Aylward referring to booster shots being administered in high-income countries, told reporters: "There is enough vaccine around the world, but it is not going to the right places in the right order."

WHO Director-General Tedro Ghebreyesus added that the organization is stunned by the news that Johnson & Johnson vaccines in South Africa are leaving the continent and going to Europe.

"We urge J&J to urgently prioritize distribution of their vaccines to Africa before considering supplies to rich countries that already have sufficient access," he said.

WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove added circulation of the Delta variant in areas of low vaccination is driving transmission of COVID-19 around the world.

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