The Evidence: To boost or not to boost?
The divide between the Covid vaccine haves and have-nots has been described as “criminal”, with only 20% of people in low and middle income countries having had one dose, compared with 80% in higher income countries. Countries with high vaccination rates have been called on to give up their place in the vaccine queue.
The dual-track global vaccination programme has led to real anger, made worse by announcements of booster programmes in richer countries (despite the World Health Organisation calling for such plans to be put on hold).
Claudia Hammond and her panel of global experts discuss the scale of vaccine inequity and consider whether evidence of waning vaccine immunity justifies the rollout of booster jabs, or if the soundest scientific case dictates everybody in the world should be vaccinated first.
Claudia’s guests include Dr Yodi Alakija, co-chair of the African Union’s Delivery Alliance for Covid-19 in Abuja, Nigeria, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organisation’s Technical Lead for Covid in Geneva, Switzerland and two world leading immunologists, Dr Peter Openshaw, Professor of Experimental Medicine at Imperial College, London, UK and Dr Akiko Iwasaki, Professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale University in the US.
Produced by: Fiona Hill, Paula McGrath and Maria Simons
Studio Engineers: Jackie Marjoram