PARIS (Reuters) – World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that the world is at risk of “vaccine apartheid,” referring to the vaccination difference between high-income countries and low- and lower-middle-income countries.
“I think I will go one step further and suggest not only that the world is at risk of vaccine apartheid; the world is in vaccine apartheid,” Ghebreyesus said at the Paris Peace Forum Spring Meeting.
“As you might be aware, high-income countries have 15% of the global population but 45 percent of the world’s vaccines. While low- and lower-middle-income countries account for nearly half of the world’s population, they only receive 17% of the world’s vaccines.
As a result, the chasm is enormous,” he said. The WHO chief also noted that at least 63 million vaccine doses have been delivered to 124 countries and economies, despite the fact that they only account for 0.5 percent of the total population of those countries.
He also pointed out that the root of vaccine inequity was a lack of sharing, which could be addressed by pooling financial resources to completely finance the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, sharing doses with COVAX, and pooling technology to scale up vaccine production.
“Even now, some high-income countries are vaccinating children and teens, while health workers, the elderly, and other at-risk groups around the world remain unvaccinated,” Ghebreyesus said.
Earlier, US President Joe Biden declared on Monday (local time) that the US will share 80 million vaccine doses globally over the next six weeks, five times more than any other country has done so far and accounting for 13% of all vaccines created in the country by the end of June.
“Today, we’re taking an additional step to support the world,” Biden said during his speech. We all know that America will never be completely secure until the global pandemic is under control.
There is no ocean large enough to keep us alive, and no walls tall enough to keep us safe.” (Source: ANI)