The World Health Organization stated that a large number of poorer countries receiving Covid-19 vaccines through a global sharing scheme do not have enough doses to continue programs. BBC reports this.
WHO senior adviser Dr. Bruce Aylward said the Covax program had delivered 90 million doses to 131 countries. But this is nowhere near enough to protect populations from a virus still spreading worldwide. The shortages come as some nations in Africa see the third wave of infections.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called for an end to vaccine hoarding by wealthier countries as his government scrambled to curb a steep rise in cases. On a continental level, only 40 million doses have been administered so far in Africa - less than 2% of the population.
It is noted that led by the WHO and other international organizations, Covax initially set a target of providing two billion doses worldwide by the end of 2021. Most of those are being donated to poorer countries, where Covax hopes to distribute enough vaccines to protect at least 20% of the population.
However, the distribution of these vaccines has been hampered by manufacturing delays and supply disruptions, leading to shortages in countries wholly reliant on Covax. Uganda, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Trinidad and Tobago are just some of the countries that have reported running out of vaccines in recent days.
Earlier, the US has reached an agreement with Pfizer to buy 500 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine to distribute to nearly 100 countries around the world.
Biden confirmed the distribution of over 500 million doses of vaccine to 92 poor countries.