Bilateral vaccine deals putting WHO-led COVAX at risk: Tedros


By Liu Qu

GENEVA, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday that bilateral deals on COVID-19 vaccines between countries and companies are putting at risk the promise of COVAX, the WHO-led global initiative aimed to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

"At least 56 bilateral vaccine deals have been signed, which fragments the market, forces countries to compete, and drives up prices of COVID-19 vaccines," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in his speech at a meeting.

"Vaccine nationalism is self-defeating and inefficient, leaving the world's poorest and most vulnerable people at risk," he warned. "The emergence of rapidly spreading variants makes the urgent and equitable rollout of vaccines all the more important."

Of some 50 countries where COVID-19 vaccines are being administered, nearly all are wealthy nations and 75 percent of doses have been deployed in only ten countries, Tedros noted.

"It is understandable that governments want to prioritize vaccinating their own health workers and older people first. But it is not right that younger, healthier adults in rich countries are vaccinated before health workers and older people in poorer countries," Tedros said.

"The situation is compounded by the fact that most manufacturers have prioritized regulatory approval in rich countries where the profits are highest, rather than submitting full dossiers to WHO," he said. "To put it bluntly: many countries have bought more vaccine than they need."

The WHO chief called on all manufacturers of vaccines that meet international standards of safety, efficacy and quality to prioritize their submission to WHO for Emergency Use Listing.

He stressed that COVAX needs to "receive extra doses soon, and not the leftovers many months from now."

"2021 could be a year with renewed hope that we can overcome the acute phase of the pandemic," he said. "We cannot succeed as countries acting alone. Global solidarity is the only way forward."

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In World

Brazil's Bolsonaro says pandemic aid payments could vary in value
Irish foreign minister to meet Iran's Rouhani on nuclear deal
Mars rover Perseverance takes first spin on surface of red planet
U.S. detained nearly 100,000 migrants at U.S.-Mexico border in February: sources
Brazil variant can reinfect virus survivors; COVID-19 vaccine antibodies pass into breast milk
Saudi-led coalition says it downed six Houthi drones fired at Khamis Mushait
Belgium sets out plan for easing, with bars to reopen on May 1
In Brazil's Amazon, isolated indigenous people welcome COVID vaccine
At least 20 killed by suicide car bomb near restaurant in Somalia capital
Italy extends COVID-19 curbs in more regions as new cases pile up

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers