- WHO voiced concern over many countries failing to vaccinate
- Inequities in access to vaccines are fuelling a two-track pandemic: WHO
- When some countries cannot vaccinate, it's a threat to all countries: WHO
United Nations: Voicing concern over many countries failing to vaccinate their people, WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday called for vaccinating at least 10 per cent of the population of every country by September as he emphasised that vaccination is the best way to control the pandemic and reboot the global economy. “Vast inequities in the access to vaccines are fuelling a two-track pandemic. While some countries have reached a high level of coverage, many others don’t have enough to vaccinate health workers, older people & other at-risk groups,” the World Health Organisation Director General said in a virtual address to India Global Forum.
Also Read:COVID-19 Vaccines Effective Against Delta Variant Of Novel Coronavirus, Says Dr Anthony Fauci
Asserting that when some countries cannot vaccinate, it’s a threat to all countries, Dr Ghebreyesus called for a global effort to vaccinate at least 10 per cent of the population of every country by September, at least 40 per cent by the end of the year, and at least 70 per cent by the middle of next year.
“Vaccine equity is not just the right thing to do. It’s the best way to control the pandemic and reboot the global economy,” the WHO chief said as he warned that “until we end the pandemic everywhere, we will not end it anywhere.”
According to a UN report, COVID-19 vaccination rates are uneven across countries, ranging from below 1 per cent of the population in some countries to above 60 per cent in others.
The UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing programme has faced a slow start to its campaign, as richer nations have locked up billions of doses through contracts directly with drug manufacturers. The COVAX has distributed just 81 million doses globally and parts of the world, particularly in Africa.
The pandemic shows the risk of relying on a few companies to supply global public goods like vaccines. The consequences of the resultant inabilities in that case of COVID-19 globally remain high in many areas even as new variants are emerging, Dr Ghebreyesus said.
Also Read:UN: Any WHO-Approved Vaccine Should Be Allowed For Travel
Bruce Aylward, Senior Advisor to Ghebreyesus, last month said that the global alliance for equitable vaccine distribution is about 200 million (20 crore) doses behind where it should be due to disruption in COVAX supplies as a result of the devastating second wave of the coronavirus in India.
Aylward said the WHO is urgently trying to work with AstraZeneca, Serum Institute of India (SII) as well as the Indian government to restart shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to countries that had to suspend the rollout of second doses of vaccines amid the disruption in supplies.
The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, is the key supplier of AstraZeneca doses to COVAX. However, the supply of vaccines from SII to COVAX has been impacted as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic-hit India.
Last month, the G7 consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US pledged over 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the world’s poorest countries by the end of next year.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected over 18.2 crore people and killed nearly 40 lakh, according to Johns Hopkins University.
India has recorded more than 3 crore COVID-19 cases and registered nearly 400,000 deaths due to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic last year.The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India has gone past 33.54 crore, including more than 25.14 lakh jabs given on Wednesday.
Also Read:Can COVID-19 Vaccines Cause Infertility? Government Responds
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fightmalnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene.