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WHO calls for moratorium on boosters - expert comment

Commenting on the WHO's call for a moratorium on administering booster jabs of Covid-19 vaccines as a way to help ensure that doses are available in countries where few people have received their first dose, global health ethics expert Dr Sharifah Sekalala from Warwick Law School said:

“The WHO’s call for a moratorium on booster vaccines is the right one. We now know that we are not safe until everyone is safe.

"We have seen that each of the newer variants of COVID-19 is much more infectious and is much more deadly than the last one.

"We urgently need to get vaccines to the rest of the world so that we contain the spread of new variants. Unfortunately we have seen that many of the countries in the global north are not listening to this message and so it is unlikely they that will listen to the WHO about the need for a moratorium.

"Beyond the COVID-19 vaccine, we must urgently think about the reforms that the WHO needs in order to ensure that states comply with its directives.”

  • Sharifah is an Associate Professor in the Law School at the University of Warwick. She is an interdisciplinary researcher whose work is at the intersection of international law, public policy, and global health. She is particularly focused on the role of human rights frameworks in addressing global health inequalities. Her work has been published in leading legal, international relations and public health journals. Her research has been funded by the GCRF, ESRC , Wellcome Trust and international organisations including the International Labour Organisation and the WHO.

5 August 2021


Sheila Kiggins,

Media Relations Manager,

Faculty of Social Science,

University of Warwick

07876 218166