COVID-19 vaccines: Some countries have purchased excess – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says some countries have purchased more COVID-19 vaccines that they would need.

WHO Director-General, WHO, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus at a news conference in Geneva appealed to them to donate the excess vaccines to COVAX immediately.

Ghebreyesus confirmed that 42 countries are rolling out the various COVID-19 vaccines which have been cleared for use.

36 are in high-income nations.

He expressed concern that low and most middle-income countries are not receiving the vaccine yet.

“We can and must solve this problem together through COVAX and the ACT-Accelerator”, the UN health chief said.

COVAX was set up in April 2020 by WHO, GAVI, the vaccine alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

Ghebreyesus said two billion doses of “safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines” have been secured.

The WHO head appealed to countries to shun vaccine nationalism.

This is when a country secures doses for its citizens and prioritises its own domestic markets before they are made available in other countries.

“Going forward, I want to see manufacturers prioritise supply and rollout through COVAX. I urge countries and manufacturers to stop making bilateral deals at the expense of COVAX.”

Ghebreyesus said some of the highest numbers of deaths have been recorded in recent times.

WHO advised everyone to shun crowded places, noting that coronavirus thrives when people gather.

“Science has delivered, let’s not waste the opportunity to protect the lives of those most at risk and ensure all economies have a fair shot at recovery,” he added.

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