Geneva, 21 January 2021(Lana) The head of the World Health Organization said Monday the equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines is at “serious risk.”
Warning of a “catastrophic moral failure,” WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “the recent emergence of rapidly-spreading variants makes the rapid and equitable rollout of vaccines all the more important.”
Without naming names, Tedros said ‘some countries and companies speak the language of equitable access but continue to prioritize bilateral deals, bypassing COVAX, which is driving up prices and attempting to jump to the front of the line. “This is wrong,” he said.
“As the first vaccines begin to be deployed, the promise of equitable access is at serious risk,” he said, speaking at a session of the WHO’s executive board.
While more 39 million doses of several different vaccines have now been administered in at least 49 higher-income countries, he said, just 25 doses had been given in one lowest-income country.
“I need to be blunt, the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries.”