The director-general of the World Health Organization said that distributing COVID-19 boosters in some countries while millions around the world cannot even receive their first dose is “the worst we can do as a global community.”
The increasing use of boosters is "immoral, unfair and unjust and it has to stop," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told CNN on Tuesday.
Ghebreyesus has specifically been advocating for increased vaccination efforts in Africa, which have been lagging far behind other continents.
South America, North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania have all administered a single vaccine dose to more than 50% of their populations. Meanwhile, only 7% of the African population has received a dose, Tedros told CNN.
"It is unjust and also unfair because we will not stop the pandemic by ignoring a whole continent, and the continent that doesn't have any manufacturing capacity of other means," he said.
Ghebreyesus has long been an advocate for COVID vaccine equity.
In July, he released a WHO moratorium on COVID-19 booster shots to address the vaccine supply shortage in poor countries. Recently, he has been using the hashtag #VaccinEquity to continue his advocacy work.
Though the WHO has released a COVID booster moratorium, it did recommend boosters for immunocompromised individuals on Monday as they remain at a higher risk of COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths.