Written by Amani Nilar
21 Oct, 2021 | 10:00 am
(News 1st); The COVID-19 pandemic will “go on for a year longer than it needs to” because poorer countries are not getting the vaccines they need, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.
According to Dr Bruce Aylward, senior leader at the WHO, the COVID-19 crisis could “easily drag on deep into 2022”.
Less than 5% of Africa’s population have been vaccinated, compared to 40% on most other continents.
Dr Aylward appealed to wealthy countries to give up their places in the queue for vaccines in order that pharmaceutical companies can prioritize the lowest-income countries instead.
The People’s Vaccine, an alliance of charities has released new figures suggesting just one in seven of the doses promised by pharmaceutical companies and wealthy countries are actually reaching their destinations in poorer countries.
The vast majority of COVID-19 vaccines have been given in high-income or upper middle-income countries, however Africa accounts for just 2.6% of doses administered globally.
The group of charities, which includes Oxfam and UNAids, also criticized Canada and the UK for procuring vaccines for their own populations via COVAX, the UN-backed global program to distribute vaccines fairly.
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