|Philippines President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is seen on a video screen during the annual gathering in New York City for the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 21, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mary Altaffer - Pool / Getty Images / AFP)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] MANILA: President Rodrigo Duterte criticized the plan of wealthy nations to start administering COVID-19 booster doses, calling it a “selfish” act when low-income countries like the Philippines are still struggling to get vaccine supplies, PhilStar reported. In his last address before the United Nations General Assembly, Duterte said there is a “man-made drought of vaccine ravaging poor countries.”
“Rich countries hoard life-saving vaccines, while poor nations wait for trickles. They now talk of booster shots, while developing countries consider half-doses just to get by,” the chief executive said. “This is shocking beyond belief and must be condemned for what it is—a selfish act that can neither be justified rationally nor morally,” he added. Duterte called on wealthy nations to fully support the global vaccine-sharing COVAX facility. “The plain fact is—this pandemic will not end unless the virus is defeated everywhere. Vaccines are key to achieving this,” he said.
Early in September, the World Health Organization urged rich countries with large supplies of COVID-19 jabs to refrain from offering booster doses at least until the end of the year and make the doses available for poorer nations. In the Philippines, health authorities have yet to approve the use of booster shots, following calls to administer extra doses to healthcare workers.