Rich countries must give more COVID-19 vaccines and follow the United States in making doses available immediately to cover a 200 million dose gap caused by supply disruptions to India and manufacturing delays, a senior WHO adviser said on Friday.
Warning of a “two-way recovery”, the World Health Organization urges rich countries to donate their excess doses to poorer countries instead of giving them to less vulnerable groups, like children. They have so far donated 150 million doses through the COVAX sharing program. Read more
However, Bruce Aylward said on Friday that only a small portion of those doses will be available in the short term in June, July and August, when they can make a difference in slowing the rate of infections in the global pandemic.
“We are going to need twice as much and this has to be brought forward,” he said, referring to the size of donations from rich countries until G7 health ministers meet in Oxford.
“We don’t have enough confirmed doses from enough countries early enough to put the world on the right track to get out of this situation…” he said. “We are preparing for failure if we don’t get early doses.”
He praised a US plan announced Thursday to quickly share 25 million doses and encouraged other rich countries to follow suit. Read more
Aylward estimated that disruptions in Indian vaccine exports and delays in bringing other vaccines online meant the COVAX sharing program had a gap of around 200 million doses.
India’s Serum Institute has diverted AstraZeneca’s supply to the domestic market amid a devastating second wave in India and is expected to lift these restrictions in the fourth quarter when other products for COVAX are also expected to come online.
“It’s all going to happen at the same time,” Aylward said.
Even after a summit this week that secured an additional $ 2.4 billion in pledges, a funding gap of nearly $ 17 billion for WHO’s “ACT accelerator” to support vaccines, treatments. and COVID-19 diagnoses remain, he said. Read more
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