WHO has warned of ‘catastrophic moral failure’ in Covid vaccine distribution.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that due to the unfair Covid vaccination programs being adopted by various nations, the world faces a “catastrophic moral failure”
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, said it was not appropriate for younger, healthier people in wealthy nations to be vaccinated in poorer states before vulnerable people, as is being introduced in some countries.
He also said over 39 million vaccine doses had been given in 49 richer states but one poor nation had only 25 doses.
His statement came following an independent panel which was commissioned by the WHO said the UN public health body should have declared an international emergency earlier, and also blamed China for not implementing public health measures sooner.
China, India, Russia, the United Kingdom and the US have all produced Covid vaccines so far.
Dr. Tedros, speaking at the WHO Executive Board meeting, said, “I need to be blunt: the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure – and the price life and livelihoods in the poorer areas in the world will be compensated for this mistake.”
A “me-first” policy, Dr Tedros said, would be self-defeating because it would drive up rates and promote hoarding.
These activities would essentially only prolong the pandemic, the constraints necessary to control it, and human and economic misery, “Ultimately, these actions will only prolong the pandemic, the restrictions needed to contain it, and human and economic suffering,”
He called for complete engagement with the global Covax vaccine-sharing program, which is expected to begin rolling out next month.
“My appeal to all Member States is to make sure that Covid-19 vaccines are administered in every country by the time World Health Day falls on 7 April, as a beacon of strength for overcoming both the pandemic and the inequalities that lie at the core of so many global health challenges,” said Dr. Tedros.
To date, more than 180 countries have signed up to the Covax campaign, which is sponsored by the WHO and a coalition of multinational vaccination advocacy organizations. Its goal is to combine countries into one bloc so that they have more leverage to bargain with drug makers.
Ninety-two countries-all of them low or middle-income countries-will have their vaccines paid for by a donor-sponsored project.