France, Germany, and the UK are among countries that plan to proceed with COVID-19 booster shots despite WHO's plea not to

France, Germany, and the UK are among countries that plan to proceed with COVID-19 booster shots despite WHO's plea not to
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  • Germany, France, and the UK intend to start administering booster shots next month, while Israel has already started.

  • Israel's prime minister said the country is too small to make a significant difference to vaccine inequality.

  • White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said the US can donate vaccines while also providing boosters if needed.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Several countries are going ahead with plans to administer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to their populations, despite the World Health Organization (WHO) calling for countries to abstain from administering the additional shot until at least the end of September.

"I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant. But we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it, while the world's most vulnerable people remain unprotected," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesustedros said at a media briefing on August 4.

More than four billion vaccine doses have been administered globally, with more than 80% going to middle- or high-income countries, according to the WHO.

France, Germany, and the UK are among countries that plan to offer COVID-19 booster shots next month to the elderly and vulnerable. In the UK alone, 32 million booster shots are expected to be administered, reported the Telegraph.

"We want to provide the vulnerable groups in Germany with a precautionary third vaccination and at the same time support the vaccination of as many people in the world as possible," the German Health Ministry told Reuters.

Israel has administered more than 11 million vaccine doses and over 60% of its nine million population is vaccinated, according to Our World in Data. It started rolling out its booster vaccine program this month to the elderly, citing data that the vaccine's efficacy may fall over time.

Speaking after the WHO briefing, Israeli Prime minister Naftali Bennett said in a Facebook Live event that Israel has a small population that "doesn't significantly affect the global surplus," adding that what the country is doing "dramatically contributes to global knowledge," reported AFP. Bennett also called for the elderly to receive the "great gift" of a booster shot, while encouraging young people to get vaccinated.

The US - which has not announced plans for booster shots yet - also refuted the WHO's plea on Wednesday. At a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called it "a false choice," saying the US can donate more vaccines while also providing booster shots.

The US has donated over 110 million vaccines to the world - more than any country - and intends to donate more, she said, calling for other G7 members and the global community to step up.

"If the FDA decides that boosters are recommended for a portion of the population, [the US will] provide those as well. We believe we can do both, and we don't need to make that choice," Psaki said.

Read the original article on Insider