Saturday, July 24, 2021
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COVID-19: Vaccines Donated Next Year, ‘Too Late For Those Who Are Dying Today’


Millions more COVID vaccines need to be donated now to
save lives and help the UN health agency reach the key
global target of having 70 per cent of all national
populations vaccinated, by the middle of 2022.

That
was one of the main messages relayed
to reporters
on Friday by World Health Organization (WHO) chief, Tedros Adhanom
Ghebreyesus
, who said if richer countries and
pharmaceutical companies wait to donate and produce more
shots until next year, that will be “too late for those
who are dying today.”

Lauding Guinea’s expected
announcement on Saturday that its latest
Ebola virus disease outbreak
has been curbed after just
four months, he said it showed what could be done on a much
larger scale, with the coronavirus.

Global
vaccine failure

“And yet even after 18
months, the ineffective use of public health and social
measures, increased social mixing and vaccine inequity,
continue to give COVID-19 an
opportunity to mutate, spread and kill”, said Tedros.
“The global failure to share vaccines equitably is
fuelling a two-track pandemic that is now taking its toll on
some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable
people.

Every region has countries that
are now facing a steep increase in cases and deaths, he
noted, adding that Latin American nations are in dire
straits, with cases in Africa, increasing by 52% in just the
past week.

“And we expect things to only get worse.
Less than one per cent of Africa’s population has been
vaccinated. Vaccines donated next year will be far too late
for those who are dying today, or being infected today, or
at risk today.”

Firm targets

WHO’s global
targets are to vaccinate at least 10 per cent of the
population of every country by September, at least 40 per
cent by the end of 2021, and 70 per cent by the middle of
next year.

“These are the critical milestones we
must reach together to end the pandemic” said Tedros,
comparing the current 20 per cent fully vaccinated rate in
more than half of richer nations, with the chilling
statistic that the same can be said of only three lower and
middle-income countries.

“We very much appreciate
the vaccine donations announced by the G7 and others. And we
thank those countries including the United States that have
committed to sharing doses in June and July. We urge others
to follow suit. We need vaccines to be donated now to save
lives”, Tedros
added.

© Scoop Media

 



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