WHO Urges Manufacturers To Supply 50% Of COVID-19 Vaccines To COVAX

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The World Health Organization (WHO), appealed to COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to commit half of their volumes to the global vaccine equity scheme or give COVAX first right of refusal on the new volume of COVID-19 vaccines on Monday.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organisation Director-General said that, “Manufacturers should turn their attention to the COVAX facility, which has struggled to get donation-funded doses to poorer countries.”

According to him, several poor countries have been unable to immunise their health workers, the elderly, and other populations most vulnerable to severe COVID-19 disease.

Some rich countries meanwhile, having bought up vaccine supply, are drawing up preparations to start vaccinating children.

Ghebreyesus has called for a massive global effort to vaccinate at least 10 percent of the population of all countries by September, and at least 30 percent by the end of the year, that will require an additional 250 million doses by September, with 100 million doses in June and July alone.

“This weekend, the G7 leaders will meet for their annual summit, these seven nations have the power to meet these targets.

“I am calling on the G7 not just to commit to sharing doses, but to commit to sharing them in June and July.

“I also call on all manufacturers to give COVAX first right of refusal on the new volume of COVID-19 vaccines, or to commit 50 percent of their volumes to COVAX this year,” he added.

COVAX was set up to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, particularly to low-income countries, and has already delivered more than 80 million doses to 129 territories.

For vaccines to be eligible for COVAX, they need to have been approved by the WHO and given its emergency use listing status.

More than 2.15 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been injected in at least 215 territories around the world, according to research.

But just 0.3 percent have been administered in the 29 lowest-income countries, home to nine percent of the world’s people.

Tedros also said that the inequitable distribution of vaccines has allowed the virus to continue spreading, increasing the chances of a variant emerging that renders vaccines less effective.

“Inequitable vaccination is a threat to all nations, not just those with the fewest vaccines,” he said.

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