WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking at the Munich Security conference on Friday, urged countries and drugmakers to help speed up the manufacture and distribution of vaccines across the globe. It was reported by The New York Times.
Ghebreyesus warned that the world could be “back at square one” if some countries went ahead with their vaccination campaigns and left others behind.
“Vaccine equity is not just the right thing to do, it’s also the smartest to do,” Dr. Tedros said.
According to him, the longer it would take to vaccinate populations in every country, the longer the pandemic would remain out of control.
Wealthy countries have come under increased criticism in recent weeks for stockpiling doses, and keeping them away from low- and middle-income countries. Dr. Tedros used his comments to condemn the approach to public health in many countries, which he called “a failure even in the most advanced economies in our world.”
“It affects everything, and the whole world is now taken hostage by a small virus,” he said.
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, who also spoke before Mr. Ghebreyesus, said more than 100 countries had not received a single dose.
“While the Covax mechanism is designed specifically for equitable distribution and vaccine development, it has yet to deliver a single vaccine to a country,” says Claire Waterhouse, a South Africa-based advocacy coordinator for Doctors Without Borders.
More than 190 million people have been vaccinated worldwide, but almost none in Africa.
As we reported earlier, the WHO has confirmed that the South African strain of coronavirus is much more contagious than others.