Geneva, Sep 22 (Prensa Latina) More than 60 high-income countries have signed up to the Covax initiative, which seeks to ensure global access to the Covid-19 vaccine once it becomes available, the World Health Organization (WHO) admitted today.
Among the new members is the European Commission, on behalf of the 27 countries that make up the bloc, which will contribute 400 million euros to this global mechanism that aims to ensure the development and equitable distribution of a vaccine against the disease generated by SARS-Cov2.
The United States is also absent from the list of nations interested in acquiring the drug through this mechanism.
Covax is fighting to avoid vaccine nationalism and to remedy the inability of many nations to develop their own vaccines. In response, the WHO has asked high-income nations that are able to self-finance their immunization needs to make firm commitments and initial payments by October 9th.
WHO estimates indicate that 38 more high-income nations will join in the coming days, while more than 90 nations whose incomes are considered medium or low have already joined the initiative.
Shortly after its launch, the organization indicated that more than 170 countries – representing nearly 70 percent of the world’s population – have expressed their intention to join, or at least their interest. According to the latest information, the number exceeds 150 of the 194 member countries of the WHO.
The director general of this UN body, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, expressed his satisfaction for those who admitted to Covax, and advanced that the aspiration is to have two billion doses by the end of 2021.
Explaining how the distribution of the vaccines will be, he said that in a first phase the doses will be proportional and simultaneous in all the countries participating in Covax, with the purpose of reducing the global risk of contagion of the disease, while in phase two the threat and vulnerability of the countries will be taken into account.
In Ghebreyesus’ view ‘the fastest way to end this pandemic and revive economies is to start by protecting the populations most at risk in all parts of the world, not entire populations in a few countries’.
He warned, however, that vaccine against the new coronavirus will not be massively available before 2022.
WHO and its partners will now begin to establish formal agreements with vaccine manufacturers to obtain the necessary doses to end the acute phase of the pandemic by the end of 2021.
To meet this challenge, the health organization estimates that about $38 billion is needed, but has received only $3 billion so far, and warned that contributions are not charity, but in the interest of all countries.
We all swim together or sink together,” Ghebreyesus said at a press conference Monday.
(Taken from PL)