Tedros denounces vaccine inequity as COVAX sharing scheme marks first Year
World Health Organization (WHO), Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus denounced inequities in vaccine distribution as COVAX sharing scheme marks first year.
“Nearly 900 million vaccine doses have been administered globally, but over 81% have gone to high or upper middle-income countries, while low-income countries have received just 0.3%.”
COVAX, which has shipped 40.5 million doses to 118 countries so far, aims to secure 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.”
Tedros urged wealthier countries to share excess doses to help inoculate health workers in low income countries.
“Low-income countries test less than 5% as much as high-income countries, and the majority of countries still have trouble accessing sufficient oxygen and dexamethasone.”
He was referring to an inexpensive steroid found to help patients suffering severe COVID-19, the only WHO-approved treatment for the disease.
Coronavirus vaccines remain out of reach in the poorest countries and over 3 million people have died in the pandemic.
COVAX, co-run by the Gavi Vaccine Alliance and WHO, said it was seeking to bolster its supplies of vaccines for poor countries from new manufacturers as it aims to mitigate supply problems of the AstraZeneca vaccine from India, its main shot so far.