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WHO Urges Countries To Donate COVID-19 Vaccines As Supplies Tighten

WHO director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the COVAX programme, run with the GAVI vaccine alliance, needed 10 million doses immediately to inoculate healthcare workers and older people against COVID-19

WHO Urges Countries To Donate COVID-19 Vaccines As Supplies Tighten
Highlights
  • COVAX is ready to deliver but we can’t deliver vaccines we don’t have: WHO
  • Ten million doses is not much and it’s not nearly enough: Dr. Tedros
  • So far COVAX has delivered 32 million vaccine doses to 61 countries

Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries on Friday (March 26) to donate COVID-19 vaccine doses to inoculate the most vulnerable in 20 poorer nations after India, a key supplier to the agency’s COVAX vaccine-sharing programme, said it was prioritising local needs.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the COVAX programme, run with the GAVI vaccine alliance, needed 10 million doses immediately to inoculate healthcare workers and older people as a stop-gap measure.

Also Read: Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Against COVID-19 Highly Effective Even After First Shot: US Study

COVAX is ready to deliver but we can’t deliver vaccines we don’t have. Bilateral deals, export bans, vaccine nationalism and vaccine diplomacy have caused distortions in the market with gross inequities in supply and demand. Ten million doses is not much and it’s not nearly enough, Dr Tedros told a news conference.

India, the world’s biggest vaccine maker, said on Friday it would make domestic inoculations a priority. The move will hit COVAX supplies as some of AstraZeneca’s vaccine is produced by the Serum Institute of India.

Tedros thanked India for its exports so far and said the move was “understandable” given rising infections. He added that talks with India were underway to find a balance between local and international needs.

So far COVAX has delivered 32 million vaccine doses to 61 countries, but 36 countries still await vaccines to start inoculations, he said.

Dr Tedros has said countries should work together to ensure COVID-19 vaccinations begin everywhere across the world within the first 100 days of 2021, or by April 10.

WHO senior adviser Bruce Aylward said that talks with well-supplied countries about donations were underway and that some had expressed “positive interest”, without naming them.

Meanwhile a long-awaited report into the origins of the novel coronavirus, following a WHO team trip to Wuhan, China in January and February, would be released in the next few days, team leader Peter Ben Embarek said. WHO’s member states will receive it first before it is made public, he said.

Also Read: When To Take Second Dose Of The COVID-19 Vaccine, How To Register For It, Government Answers These And Other Questions

(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 current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) 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, fight malnutrition, 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 where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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