UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that Covid-19 vaccination in developing countries could “fall apart” without better global vaccine distribution, calling the stance of not sharing an equal vaccine “immoral” and “stupid”. .”
Speaking at the WHO’s World Health Organization press conference, Guterres warned that if the virus is allowed to “spread like wildfires in the south of the world,” there is a risk of developing vaccine-resistant variants “in the near future.”
However, he acknowledged that the UN and WHO are powerless to force companies (vaccine makers) to license vaccines more broadly or force rich countries to consider other countries’ vaccination needs.
WHO End of Year Target: 40% of World’s Citizens Vaccinated
On the same occasion, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the launch of a strategy to achieve global Covid-19 vaccination by mid-2022. WHO targets at least 40% of citizens in each country to have been vaccinated by the end of 2021 and 70% by mid-2022.
“To achieve that target, at least 11 billion doses of vaccine are needed. It’s not about supply. It’s a matter of allocation,” he said.
He added that current vaccination rates “hide the appalling injustice” that puts humanity on “the brink of failure.”
While answering reporters’ questions, WHO Assistant Director-General Mariangela Simao also confirmed that the approval process for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine “will restart” after being “delayed due to the lack of some legal procedures.” [em/lt]