The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday that it immediately needed ten million doses of anti-Covid vaccines to help twenty countries that do not have one, calling on the international community to offer these vials.
The international Covax system, which the WHO is co-piloting with other partners, “immediately needs ten million doses” so that “these twenty countries can start vaccinating their health workers and the elderly in the next two weeks. », Declared the director general of the UN agency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a press conference.
“Many countries can afford to give doses”
“There are a lot of countries that can afford to give doses with little disruption to their own immunization plans,” he said. And to warn: “Ten million doses is not a lot and it is far from sufficient, but it is a start. We will need hundreds of millions of additional doses in the months to come ”.
At the start of the year, the head of the WHO launched a global challenge for the vaccination of caregivers and the elderly to be initiated in all countries during the first hundred days of 2021.
Immunization already launched in 177 countries and territories
To date, 177 countries and territories have been able to launch vaccination, according to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in particular thanks to Covax which has distributed more than 32 million vaccines in 61 countries.
“There are only 15 days left before the 100th day of the year, and 36 countries are still waiting for vaccines to be able to start vaccinating health workers and the elderly,” he noted.
Sixteen of these 36 countries are expected to receive their first doses in the next fifteen days. But twenty other countries are “waiting” for vaccines. “Covax is ready to deliver them, but we cannot deliver vaccines that we do not have”, noted Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“Flagrant inequalities between supply and demand”
“As you know, bilateral agreements, export bans, vaccine nationalism and vaccine diplomacy have distorted the market, with flagrant inequalities between supply and demand,” he continued. .
The international Covax system aims to deliver doses to 20% of the population of nearly 200 countries and territories this year, and includes a funding mechanism to help 92 disadvantaged countries.