WHO: Most poor countries do not have enough COVID-19 vaccine

According to a representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 50% of poor countries receiving COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX sharing mechanism are not provided with the necessary number of doses of vaccine.

On June 21, WHO Senior Adviser Bruce Aylward said that more than 50% of poor countries receiving COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX global vaccine sharing program are not provided with enough doses of vaccine to maintain their health. vaccination program.

Speaking at a press conference in Geneva (Switzerland), Mr. Aylward stated that, of the 80 countries that are included in the “commitment to promoting markets for low- and middle-income countries” (AMC), few are At least more than 50% of them do not currently have enough vaccines to maintain their vaccination program. According to him, the actual number could be much higher.

The WHO expert said that some countries have run out of COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccine shortage is partly due to production delays as well as supply disruptions from India. Meanwhile, the number of infections and deaths increased across Africa amid the raging third wave of the epidemic.

On the same day, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical Lead of WHO’s Emergency Epidemiology Division, announced that current vaccines against COVID-19 are less effective against the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has been developed. The vaccine was first discovered in India, but the vaccine still prevents disease progression and death.

Ms. Van Kerkhove states that a recent study published in The Lancet looking at neutralization from the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants showed a decrease in neutralization on the Delta variant. Not as much as the Beta variant, which was first discovered in South Africa. Still, these vaccines are highly effective because they produce enough antibodies to protect against severe disease and death.

The WHO expert also said that mutations in variants of SARS-CoV-2 could lead to vaccines becoming less effective. There will come a time when mutations in a variant will make vaccines ineffective, Kerkhove warned, and WHO wants to make sure this is prevented.