WHO Shares New Concern, In Singapore 2 Infected With Omicron Despite Booster Shots

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Booster Shots and Omicron: Singapore has reported that a staff service member at The Singapore International airport has tested primarily positive for the omicron variant even after a booster shot. The person is among the two people in the country who have tested positive for this variant. So the question is how far is the booster shot effective?

The 24-year old Singaporean woman is considered to have caught the virus at the airport transit terminal where she is employed. The authorities have expressed their concern that given the COVID-19 variant’s high transmissibility and spread to several parts of the world they expect several other cases may show up in the coming days. 

The second case in the country is a vaccinated traveller from Germany. The woman had tested negative at both the airports however she started showing symptoms upon reaching home. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) is still unclear whether booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are needed to protect against the latest Omicron variant. The organisation has urged countries to not hoard the jabs, they have emphasised that this kind of stockpiling will widen the already glaringly unequal vaccine access around the world.

WHO vaccines chief Kate O’Brien told reporters, “As we head into whatever the Omicron situation is going to be, there is a risk that the global supply is again going to revert to high-income countries hoarding vaccine to protect (their populations)… in a sense in excess.” Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine makers last week announced that three doses of the vaccine are required to get immunity against the new variant as compared to the two doses required against the initial strain.

The world has still not fully addressed the dangerous inequity in vaccine access around the world. In the past two months, large shipments of donated doses have been seen given to underserved countries. Stockpiling the doses will only prolong the pandemic. There are several poorer nations where vulnerable age groups and health workers have not yet received a single dose. It is time for the developed nations to show their largesse in bridging this vaccine inequity as we face whatever the omicron variant has in store for us.

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