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The WHO says only 0.2% of vaccines go to developing countries

The WHO says only 0.2% of vaccines go to developing countries

April 12, 2021: -Wealthy countries have received the vast majority of the world’s supply of Covid-19 vaccine doses. In contrast, developing countries have received nearly 1%, the World Health Organization (WHO) says, at a press briefing on Friday.

Of the 700 million vaccine doses being distributed globally, “over 87% have gone up to high-income or upper- and middle-income countries, while low-income countries have got around 0.2%,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director at WHO.

According to Tedros, 1 in 4 people in high-income countries has received a Covid-19 vaccine, in comparison to just 1 in above 500 in low-income countries. “There remains a shocking imbalance in the global distribution of vaccines,” said Tedros.

There is a shortage of coronavirus vaccine doses for COVAX, a global alliance that aims to provide developing nations with coronavirus vaccines, Tedros added.

“We understand that some countries and companies are planning their bilateral vaccine donations, bypassing COVAX for their commercial or political reasons,” Tedros said. “These bilateral arrangements are at the risk of fanning the flames of vaccine inequity.”

Tedros said COVAX partners—including WHO, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance—are pursuing strategies to accelerate production and supply.

The alliance seeks donations from countries with surplus vaccine supply, expediting review of more vaccines, and discussing ways to expand global manufacturing capacity with several countries, Tedros and Gavi CEO Dr. Seth Berkley said.

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