The WHO is finally calling for bilateral vaccine agreements, poor countries remain

The head of the World Health Organization said on Friday that there is a “clear problem” that low- and middle-income countries do not yet receive deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines.

“Rich countries have the majority of supply,” said WHO Director – General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a news release in Geneva, adding that he urged countries and manufacturers to stop doing bilateral deals at the expense of the COVAX vaccine dispensing plant.

The WHO said earlier this week that the COVAX plant had raised $ 6 billion out of the $ 7 billion it has sought in 2021 to help fund deliveries to 92 developing countries with limited or no funds to purchase vaccines on their own.

To date, richer countries including the United Kingdom, members of the European Union, the United States, Switzerland and Israel have faced the queue for vaccine deliveries from companies including Pfizer and partners BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

Nearly 88 million people have been reported infected with the new coronavirus globally and about 1.9 million have died, according to a REUTERS report.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

Cases have increased in many countries in recent weeks, and Tedros said people needed to follow restrictions and social distance rules to monitor its progress.

“The virus is spreading at an alarming rate in some countries,” he said. “The problem is that not following a little becomes a habit. Not following gives the virus opportunities to spread.”

(REUTERS)