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WHO announces support for COVID-19 booster shots

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, initially called for a moratorium on vaccine booster shots last September. WHO changed course and now supports booster shots. File Photo by World Health Organization /Twitter<br>
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, initially called for a moratorium on vaccine booster shots last September. WHO changed course and now supports booster shots. File Photo by World Health Organization /Twitter

March 8 (UPI) -- The World Health Organization reversed its position on COVID-19 booster shots Tuesday and is now recommending the additional vaccine shot.

The WHO initially complained that wealthier countries would administer third vaccine shots while residents in many poorer and middle-income countries had not been able to receive their first shots.

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The Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition of the WHO said in a statement that it "strongly supports urgent and broad access to current COVID-19 vaccines for primary series and booster doses, particularly for groups at risk of developing severe disease."

While the threat of the more contagious form of the coronavirus, the Omicron variant, has lessened in the United States, it continues to be prominent in other countries, causing cases to spike.

The WHO urged booster shots "particularly for groups at risk of developing severe disease, given that current COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide high levels of protection against severe disease and death, even in the context of the circulation of Omicron."

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had originally called for a moratorium on booster shots for healthy adults through the end of last year.

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"We do not want to see widespread use of boosters for healthy people who are fully vaccinated," Tedros said then, according to The Hill newspaper.

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