WHO and UNICEF heads call for equitable distribution of vaccines
Equitable distribution of vaccines needed to eradicate COVID-19: Infectious diseases expert
More than three quarters of vaccinations are in the top 10 countries
World Health Organization and UN Children’s Fund Heads Call for Expanded COVID-19 Vaccine Production and Equitable Distribution, Warning of Dangerous Global Imbalance in Vaccination.
«Of the 128 million doses of vaccine administered to date, more than three-quarters are vaccinated in just 10 countries, accounting for 60 percent of global GDP, – said on Wednesday, WHO Chief Tedros Adanom Ghebreyesus and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. – To date, nearly 130 countries with 2.5 billion people have not yet been vaccinated.».
They also warned that if this continues, it will create favorable conditions for the virus to mutate and increase its resistance to vaccines. Global economic recovery will also slow down.
Gebreyesus and Fore called states «look beyond boundaries» and develop a strategy that will allow both to end the pandemic and to limit the emergence of new strains of the virus.
They recommend first of all to vaccinate health workers and members of vulnerable groups of the population in all countries. WHO and UNICEF leaders also called on vaccine manufacturers to distribute limited supplies equitably and transfer technology to other manufacturers that can help increase global supply.
«Coronavirus has shown that our destinies are inextricably linked, – they said. – Whether we win or lose, we’ll do it together».
Also on Wednesday, WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization released interim guidance recommending a vaccine from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford for those over 65..
Some European countries, including Germany and France, only use this vaccine for people between the ages of 18 and 64 due to insufficient data on the response of older people to the vaccine..
According to WHO experts, available trials and studies demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the older age group..
They also recommend keeping an interval of 8 to 12 weeks between two shots..
South Korea approves AstraZeneca vaccine for all adults since February 26, but with a warning for those over 65.
South Africa on Sunday suspended vaccinations with AstraZeneca after new research showed it was less effective against a country-identified variant of the virus.
South African Health Minister Zveli Mhize said Wednesday that the government will begin vaccinating healthcare workers with a single-dose vaccine from US pharmaceutical giant Johnson. & Johnson in a limited study. Johnson vaccine & Johnson has not yet been officially registered in any country, but the company says late-stage clinical trial results have shown 85 percent effectiveness in preventing severe disease, even for the South African strain..
Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the emergency use of a new drug for the treatment of COVID-19, developed by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly..
The drug will be used for patients with coronavirus who are at high risk of hospitalization with a severe form of the disease