On Monday, the chief of the WHO stated that the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure if rich countries obtain COVID-19 vaccine doses and the poorest suffer.
In fact, World Health Organization director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, criticized the “me-first” approach of rich nations, denouncing vaccine manufacturers for seeking regulatory approval in rich countries while they should submitting their data to the WHO to green-light vaccine use worldwide.
In a speech in Geneva opening a WHO executive board gathering, Tedros Adhanom stated that the promise of worldwide equitable access to vaccines against the coronavirus pandemic was now at serious risk, adding that 39 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine had been administered so far in at least 49 higher income countries.
Otherwise, World Health Organization director-general said that just 25 doses have been given in one lowest income country. Not 25 million; not 25,000; just 25.
Tedros Adhanom also related: 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, adding that even as some countries pronounced reassuring words on equitable access, they were prioritizing their own deals with manufacturers, driving up prices and trying to jump the queue.
He also said that 44 such deals were struck in 2020 and at least 12 have already been signed since the New Year, indicating that the situation is compounded by the fact that most manufacturers have prioritized regulatory approval in rich countries where the profits are highest, rather than submitting full dossiers to WHO.
Tedros Adhanom also said: Not only does this me-first approach leave the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people at risk, it’s also self-defeating, and added: Ultimately, these actions will only prolong the pandemic, prolong our pain, the restrictions needed to contain it, and human and economic suffering.