Covid-19: WHO slams ‘surprising’ vaccine imbalance between wealthy and poor

A medical trial volunteer participates in Johnson & Johnson’s examine to check a coronavirus vaccine.

  • The WHO has lamented the disparity in vaccine entry between wealthy and poor international locations.
  • The orgainsation stated its goal of each vaccination getting underway by this Saturday is behind.
  • Solely 194 territories out of 220 have begun vaccinations, in line with an AFP tally.

The World Well being Organisation on Friday condemned the chasm between wealthy and poor nations in accessing coronavirus vaccines, saying greater than a dozen international locations had been nonetheless fully unprotected.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus — a fierce critic of rich international locations shopping for up vaccine provide for themselves — blasted the shortage of doses obtainable for poorer nations.

His goal of seeing vaccination beneath means in each nation by Saturday – the one hundredth day of 2021 – is about to be missed.

“There stays a surprising imbalance within the world distribution of vaccines,” Tedros instructed a press convention.

He stated that out of 220 territories, 194 had began vaccination, whereas of the remaining 26, seven have acquired doses and are making ready to start out, whereas an additional 5 ought to take supply of their first batches inside days.

Of the remaining 14, some had not requested vaccines via the Covax scheme, some weren’t but prepared, and a few deliberate to start out within the coming weeks and months.

“We’re inspired that the majority international locations who wish to begin have now began,” Tedros stated.

“Nonetheless, I emphasise the phrase begin. Most international locations would not have wherever close to sufficient vaccines to cowl all well being employees, or all at-risk teams — by no means thoughts the remainder of their populations.”


Greater than 732 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in no less than 195 territories all over the world, in line with an AFP depend.

Some 49% of the doses have been injected in high-income international locations accounting for 16% of the worldwide inhabitants.

Simply 0.1% have been administered within the 29 lowest-income international locations, residence to 9 % of the world’s inhabitants.

Tedros in contrast some high-income international locations the place one in 4 had acquired a shot to low-income ones, the place fewer than one in 500 had accomplished so.

The WHO co-led Covax facility, which goals to make sure that poorer nations can entry Covid-19 vaccines with donors protecting the price, had been anticipating to distribute its first 100 million doses worldwide by the tip of March.

However solely 38 million have been distributed to this point, to 105 territories.

“We hope to have the ability to catch up throughout April and Could,” stated Tedros.

“Covax works. It is a sturdy mechanism that may distribute vaccines quicker and extra effectively than another mechanism. The issue will not be getting vaccines out of Covax; the issue is getting them in.

“Some international locations and firms plan to do their very own bilateral vaccine donations, bypassing Covax for their very own political or business causes.

“These bilateral preparations run the chance of fanning the flames of vaccine inequity.

“Shortage of provide is driving vaccine nationalism and vaccine diplomacy.”


Europe’s medicines regulator stated this week that the AstraZeneca vaccine may trigger very uncommon blood clots amongst some recipients, prompting a number of international locations to scale up restrictions on the jab.

On Wednesday, the WHO’s vaccine consultants stated a hyperlink between AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 jabs and blood clots was “believable however not confirmed”, stressing that reported occurrences had been “very uncommon”.

Tedros stated Friday that the UN well being company continued to again the jab.

“The advantages of the vaccine outweigh the chance of those very uncommon unwanted side effects,” he stated.

“All vaccines and medicines carry a danger of unwanted side effects. On this case, the dangers of extreme illness and demise from Covid-19 are many instances increased than the very small dangers associated to the vaccine.

The novel coronavirus has killed greater than 2.9 million individuals for the reason that outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, in line with a tally from official sources compiled by AFP.

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