WHO reaffirms call to boost COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to poorer nations

Wednesday, 2021-09-08 22:58:17
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WHO has set a target to enable every country to vaccinate at least 40% of the population by the end of this year.
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The World Health Organization on Wednesday said low-income countries were ready to run effective COVID-19 vaccination campaigns and it was now down to manufacturers and rich countries to deliver the pledged doses to ease global health inequalities.

About 80% of the 5.5 billion vaccines doses that have been administered globally went to high income countries, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news briefing on Wednesday.

"We have heard excuses from manufacturers and some high income countries about how low income countries cannot absorb vaccines," Tedros said, adding almost all low income countries have demonstrated an ability to run large-scale immunisation campaigns for polio, measles and other disease.

"Because manufacturers have prioritised or been legally obliged to fulfil bilateral deals with rich countries willing to pay top dollar, low-income countries have been deprived of the tools to protect their people," he said.

WHO has set a target to enable every country to vaccinate at least 40% of the population by the end of this year and Tedros said deliveries to poorer nations need to be boosted for this to be achieved.

Reuters