As concerns grow over the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, Germany on Monday became the biggest western country to announce that it will offer Covid19 booster shots to a wide range of people considered potentially vulnerable.
The move by Germany came even as a top European Union official criticised the bloc as falling far short of its promises to donate coronavirus vaccine doses to Africa and Latin America. And with a limited global Covid19 vaccine supply, health experts say the top priorities should be distributing doses to poor countries that lag far behind in inoculations, and persuading vaccine-resistant people in wealthy countries to get their first shots.
On the other hand, the Delta variant has become a cause for concern in several countries. It spreads faster and can be fatal.
There is also still no consensus among scientists on the need for booster shots of coronavirus, but as fears rise of more pandemic waves and more costly lockdowns, a growing number of countries are preparing to give their people booster doses — or have already started.
Starting in September, Germany, Europe’s largest economy, wants to administer a booster of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine to older people, residents of care homes, and people with compromised immune systems — and also to anyone who was already fully vaccinated with the two-dose AstraZeneca or single-dose Johnson & Johnson shots, which clinical trials have shown are not as highly protective.