The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has accused “some high-income countries” of boycotting the COVAX mechanism, which aims at the equitable distribution of vaccines against Covid-19.
“Currently, some high-income countries are signing contracts with vaccine manufacturers that undermine the agreements that COVAX it has in force and they reduce the number of doses that COVAX can buy, “he denounced at a press conference this Monday from Geneva (Switzerland).
Tedros has criticized that money is not the only obstacle that poorer countries face in accessing vaccines. “If there are no vaccines to buy, money is irrelevant. Even if we have the funds, we will only be able to supply the vaccines to the poorest countries if the high-income countries cooperate in respecting the agreements that COVAX has made, and the new agreements that it is making, ”he charged harshly.
Thus, he has claimed that this «it’s not a question of charity“, But Epidemiology. “If we do not end the Covid-19 pandemic everywhere, we will not end it anywhere. The longer the virus circulates, the more opportunities it has to change so that vaccines are less effective. For this reason, all countries, including high-income ones, are interested in ensuring that health workers, the elderly and other risk groups are the first to receive vaccines against Covid-19 worldwide, “he claimed. .
To achieve this, Tedros pointed out that “more financing is needed, that countries share doses immediately, that manufacturers give priority to contracts with COVAX and also a significant increase in the production of vaccines against the disease. Covid-19». “More Covid-19 vaccines are being developed, approved and produced. There will be enough for everyone. But for now and for the rest of this year, vaccines will be a limited resource. We must use them as strategically as we can, “he added.
On the other hand, Tedros has applauded that several countries of the G7 and the European Union pledged $ 4.3 billion in new funding to finance the equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and therapies for Covid-19. Several G7 countries also committed to sharing doses with COVAX.
“I would like to express my deep appreciation to the G7 leaders for these contributions. These funds and donations bring us a little closer to our goal of starting to vaccinate health workers and older people in all countries in the first 100 days of 2021. The G7 countries have shown their leadership, but we need all countries take a step forward. We still face a deficit of at least 22.9 billion dollars to fully finance this mechanism, ”Tedros added.