WHO: Inequality in vaccines is supporting and abetting the Covid-19 pandemic

WHO: Inequality in vaccines is supporting and abetting the Covid-19 pandemic

The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has announced a WHO initiative to achieve the goal of vaccination against COVID-19 by mid-2022.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: THX/VNA

Speaking at a joint online press conference with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Mr. Tedros announced: “Today, WHO launched the Strategy to reach the Global Immunization Target by Mid-2022”.

According to this strategy, by the end of 2021 each country in the world will vaccinate 40% of the population and by the middle of 2022, the rate will reach 70%, through prioritizing the distribution of vaccines to countries with low-income countries, especially those in Africa.

Achieving that goal will require at least 11 billion doses of the vaccine, according to Mr. Tedro, and this is an issue of distribution, not a problem of supply. “The current global vaccine production is close to 1.5 billion doses per month, which is enough to achieve the above target, as long as the vaccine is distributed fairly,” he said.

WHO figures show that more than 6.4 billion doses of vaccine have now been used globally, and nearly a third of the world’s population has completed vaccination. However, low-income countries receive less than 0.5% of the world’s vaccines. In Africa, less than 5% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Earlier this year, WHO set a target by the end of September each country in the world to vaccinate 10% of the population. However, 56 countries around the world have failed to achieve this goal. This fact prompted United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to join a press conference with the WHO Director-General to launch the strategy. UN Secretary-General Guterres emphasized: “Vaccine inequality is supporting and abetting the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing variants to multiply and spread, which can add millions of lives to the world. the world and prolonging the economic downturn could cost trillions of dollars.”

“If the disease spreads in areas with low vaccination coverage, the risk of a vaccine-resistant variant becomes greater, so efforts to immunize people in rich developed countries will be made,” Guterres said. will fail. Therefore, the unfair distribution of vaccines “is not only unethical but also unwise,” the UN Secretary-General stressed.

United Nations Secretary-General Guterres called on rich countries in the G20 to make a pledge to “get the whole world vaccinated” at the planned G20 summit. taking place later this month in Rome (Italy).