Being “fully vaccinated” may change to three COVID-19 doses, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says

On Monday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson cited the importance of booster shots in preventing pandemic restrictions from being reinstated. With rising infections in Europe, other nations are looking at mandates on booster shots as well.

“It’s very clear that getting three jabs – getting your booster – will become an important fact and it will make life easier for you in all sorts of ways,” Johnson told a press conference.

Infections due to the delta variant has caused several European countries, wealthier ones, to reconsider what constitutes one’s status as “fully vaccinated” – which typically means two COVID-19 shots. Rich nations are being prioritized in the supply of vaccines because those countries have pushed themselves to the front of the list by paying drug companies higher prices.

In low-income nations only 4.6 percent have received a vaccination, which global health experts fear is the result of reliance on boosters affecting the supply of doses to those nations. World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was “a scandal” that one-sixth the amount of primary doses are being administered in low-income countries than are being given around the world daily.

He warned last Friday, “It makes no sense to give boosters to healthy adults, or to vaccinate children, when health workers, older people and other high-risk groups around the world are still waiting for their first dose.”

Several European nations are working towards requiring booster shots. President of France, Emmanuel Macron, announced last week that anyone over the age of 65 will need a third dose by December 15 to ensure their vaccination passes are valid.

In Austria, full vaccination expires nine months after the second dose to encourage booster doses. So far in the U.S., the Pfizer COVID-19 booster is not available for all adults, but the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet on Friday to discuss expanding booster eligibility.

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