GENEVA – Nearly nine months after the arrival of Covid-19 vaccines, dozens of countries have yet to vaccinate 10% of their populations, a milestone seen as crucial to reducing inequality in access to vaccination around the world.
Earlier this year, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for an urgent push to reach the target by the end of September. But more than 55 countries, 39 of them in Africa, are still below target, highlighting the problems the Covax Facility Global Distribution Program has faced in trying to roll out vaccines in every corner of the planet.
While Covax struggled to get the shots needed to hit the target, many wealthy nations stepped forward. UN data showed that less than 4% of people in low-income countries were vaccinated with at least one dose, compared to about 61% in high-income countries.
In addition, the consortium lowered its forecast for vaccine supplies for 2021, due to production delays, export bans and the maneuvers of rich countries to protect their populations first. Program partners called on countries that already have enough immunization agents to speed up donations and urged companies to be more transparent in their procurement processes.
“Manufacturers are choosing not to ship to Kovacs, and high-income countries are choosing not to get enough doses to those places quickly enough,” said Bruce Aylward, a senior adviser to the World Health Organization.
They fear that slowing births around the world will prolong the epidemic and increase the risk of more worrying variables. Even as supplies begin to arrive in low-income areas, getting vaccines to people is another challenge.
In May, Tedros called for a “race to September” to vaccinate an additional 250 million people in low- and middle-income countries in just four months. The goal is to reach at least 40% by the end of the year and 70% of the world’s population by the middle of next year.
Africa is the most affected continent
And according to Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker, many countries below 10% don’t even come close to that number – most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are less than 1%. Meanwhile, 56% of the US population has been fully vaccinated, 67% in the UK and 71% in Canada. Portugal, at 84%, has the highest rate of two-dose vaccination Among countries with a population of more than one million.
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NS The continent most affected is Africa70% of countries had not achieved the target of vaccinating one in 10 people against Covid-19 by the end of September. Delivering vaccines to the continent needs to double countries to achieve the next goal of vaccinating 40% of its population by the end of the year, Richard Mihigo, director of the Immunization and Vaccine Development Program at the World Health Organization’s Africa office, said Thursday. the year.
Half of the 52 African countries with vaccination programs have vaccinated less than 2% of their population, according to Mihijo.
“Countries that have the supplies and capacity to obtain vaccines through bilateral agreements reached before Kovacs are most likely to reach the target,” he said. – Kovacs needs to get to the front of the line. We need to stay focused on this because we know many countries are now moving to a third dose.
Covax has yet to meet its goals, delivering just 311 million doses to more than 140 countries as of September 27. Earlier this year, India suspended exports to counter the outbreak devastating, but now the country must return shipments to Covax, starting in the quarter beginning in October.
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