“The Priority Is To Vaccinate Some People In All Countries, Not All People In Few Countries”– WHO On #Covid19 Vaccine Distribution
The World Health Organization on Friday has said that as more potential vaccines emerge to combat the Coronavirus worldwide, it is essential to prioritize Frontline workers for vaccination.
The WHO and GAVI vaccine alliance are leading a global vaccine allocation plan known as COVAX that aims to help buy and distribute shots fairly. The focus is on first vaccinating the most high-risk people in every country such as healthcare workers.
“In time, as production increases, we want all people everywhere to have access to #COVID19 vaccines.
But initially, when supply is limited, priority must be given to vaccinating essential workers and those most at risk, including older people and those with underlying conditions”, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom said after a meeting with world leaders.
“In other words, the first priority must be to vaccinate some people in all countries, rather than all people in some countries.
“This is not just a moral imperative and a public health imperative, it’s also an economic imperative”, Tedros emphasized.
Speaking further, he opined:
“In our interconnected world, if people in low- and middle-income countries miss out on #COVID19 vaccines, the virus will continue to kill and the economic recovery will be delayed.
Vaccine nationalism will prolong the pandemic, not shorten it”.
Tedros said the COVAX Facility is the agreed international mechanism for ensuring equitable global access to COVID19 vaccines, referring to the plan as “solidarity in action”.
COVAX guarantees access to the world’s largest portfolio of vaccine candidates”-Dr Tedros informed.
“Our partner, the CEPI vaccines, is supporting 9 candidate Covid-19 vaccines that will be made available to the COVAX facility if successful, 7 of which are in clinical trials.
“We’re also in discussions about 4 other promising vaccines. Another 9 candidates that are in earlier stages of development are being evaluated for inclusion in the COVAX Facility”.
Tedros said 78 high- and upper-middle countries and economies have now confirmed they will participate in the COVAX Facility, and the number is growing.
“ I urge those who have not yet joined to do so by the 18th of September”, he continued.
“Many more countries have joined and we look forward to being able to share the full list in due course. Although we still face many challenges, WHO is encouraged by the progress we have made against this new virus in 8 months.”
COVAX aims to procure and deliver 2 billion doses of approved vaccines by the end of 2021, but some countries that have secured their own supplies through bilateral deals, including the United States, have said they will not join.