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Countries Start to Announce COVID-19 Booster Shot Plans
An Israeli Woman Receiving a Booster Shot (reuters.com)

A growing number of wealthy countries are starting to offer a 3rd dose of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine. Hoping to curb the Delta variant, Israel, a country with one of the world’s highest infection rates per capita, began administering the booster shots to its elderly population on July 30th. Ministry officials announced on August 22nd that the 3rd dose of Pfizer’s vaccine had four times higher protection against infection and five to six times greater protection from serious illness among people aged 60 and older compared with those who received two shots. Citing the effectiveness of the 3rd dose, the Israeli government has been gradually lowering the age of booster shot eligibility, and so far, 2 million people out of the country’s 9.3 million population have received the 3rd dose. In addition, the US announced its plans to offer booster shots to all Americans. Canada, France, and Germany have also planned booster campaigns. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) questioned the current necessity of 3rd doses and pleaded with countries for a two-month pause on booster shots. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, during a news conference in Hungary on August 23rd, “If vaccination rates are not raised globally, stronger variants of the coronavirus could develop. Vaccines intended as booster shots should be donated to countries where people have not received their 1st or 2nd doses.”

허유정  yjheo@g.skku.edu

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