UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday appealed for $ 8 billion to help equitably vaccinate 40% of people in all countries before the end of the year, as the World Organization of the Health (WHO) launched a plan that aims to inoculate 70% of the world. in mid-2022.
Guterres urged the Group of 20 rich countries to fulfill its “wish to vaccinate the world” at a summit in Rome later this month.
“Not having an equitable distribution of vaccines is not just a question of immorality, it is also a question of stupidity,” he told a joint press conference with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
So far, more than 6.3 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered worldwide.
But more than half the world has yet to receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Our World in Data, and less than 5% of Africans have been fully vaccinated, according to the continent’s top public health official. .
# The G20 countries have frequently spoken of their desire to vaccinate the world.
Your meeting at the end of this month will be an opportunity to meet.
Now is the time to step up, mobilize resources, and make vaccine equity a reality.
– António Guterres (@antonioguterres) October 8, 2021
The WHO plan calls for countries with high vaccine coverage to allow expected deliveries of additional doses to go first to the COVAX global exchange program and the African Vaccine Acquisition Fund (AVAT) for distribution where they are most needed. urgency. He also wants the richest nations to meet and accelerate commitments to donate and distribute doses of vaccines to COVAX, and make new commitments.
And it calls on drug manufacturers to urgently prioritize and comply with COVAX and AVAT vaccine contracts, be transparent about monthly production data, and provide clear monthly schedules for supplies to COVAX, AVAT, and low- and lower-middle-income countries.
“The entire UN system has shown leadership, but we have no power,” Guterres said. “The power is in the countries that produce vaccines or could produce them, and in the companies.”
Tedros also questioned why countries had not been able to agree to a temporary exemption from intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines and therapies at the World Trade Organization.
“If we can’t use it now during this unprecedented situation, when will we use the TRIPS exemption?” Tedros said. “Why do we have these intellectual property exemptions in the first place … if we are not going to use them under such conditions?”
“Manufacturers and governments should ask themselves this question,” he said.
Negotiations on such a move, proposed by South Africa and India a year ago, are stalled and aimless, sources said Monday after a meeting on the issue.