As several countries have rolled out coronavirus vaccines, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has questioned the fairness in the distribution of the vaccines and said that the world is on the “brink of a catastrophic moral failure”.
Speaking during the WHO’s executive board virtual meeting, Tedros said, “I need to be blunt: the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure–and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries.”
Highlighting that “the promise of equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines is at serious risk”, he said, “More than 39 million doses of vaccine have now been administered in at least 49 higher-income countries. Just 25 doses have been given in one lowest-income country. Not 25 million; not 25 thousand; just 25.” This warning comes despite COVAX, a global initiative, being formed nine months ago to ensure fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for every country, Voice of America reported.
The WHO chief said that these actions will not help in stopping the spread of coronavirus but “will only prolong the pandemic”. “Vaccine equity is not just a moral imperative, it is a strategic and economic imperative,” he added. According to the latest update by the Johns Hopkins University, globally, a total of 95,392,103 COVID-19 cases and 2,035,895 deaths have been reported so far.