The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a plan to get 40 percent of the world’s population vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of this year and 70 percent by mid-2022.
As explained at a press conference by the director general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to vaccinate 70 percent of the world’s population, at least 11,000 million doses of vaccines are needed. The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has detailed that it would cost about 8,000 million dollars (6,900 million euros) to vaccinate 40 percent of the planet by the end of this year.
"It is a budgeted, coordinated and credible exit route from the COVID-19 pandemic for everyone, everywhere. Without a coordinated and equitable approach, the reduction of cases in any country will not be sustained over time. For the good of all, we must urgently bring all countries to a high level of vaccination coverage", has commented on the matter Guterres.
By the end of September this year, as Tedros recalled, more than 6.4 billion doses had already been administered worldwide, with almost a third of the world’s population fully vaccinated. "Therefore, it is not a question of supply, but of allocation", has defended.
Tedros has insisted that "there are already contracts for the remaining 5,000 million doses". "But it is essential that those doses reach where they are most needed, prioritizing the elderly, health workers and other risk groups", has claimed.
For this reason, it has asked countries and companies that control the supply of COVID-19 vaccines to "prioritize contracts with COVAX and the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) for deliveries and donated doses".
The top leader of the UN international health organization has warned of the "terrible inequality" in access to vaccines. "High- and upper-middle-income countries have used 75 percent of all COVID-19 vaccines produced so far. Low-income countries have received less than half of 1 percent of the world’s vaccines. In Africa, less than 5 percent of people are fully vaccinated", has detailed about it.
Earlier this year, the WHO set a goal for all countries to vaccinate 10 percent of their population by the end of September, but 56 countries, the vast majority of them in Africa and the Middle East, failed to do so due to the lack of access to vaccines.
In this context, Tedros has stated that "Equity in vaccines will hasten the end of the pandemic". "Reaching the WHO vaccine equity goals will substantially increase the immunity of the global population, protect health systems, allow economies to restart fully and reduce the risk of new variants emerging.", has claimed.
To reach the global vaccination targets set by the WHO, they consider that all older adults, health workers and high-risk groups of all ages should start, in all countries vaccinated first, followed by the full adult age group in all countries and, lastly, the vaccination of adolescents.
Tedros has called on COVID-19 vaccine producing countries to "allow the free cross-border flow of finished vaccines and raw materials, and to allow the exchange of technical knowledge, technology and licenses".
As for vaccine manufacturers, he has again claimed that "prioritize and fulfill contracts with COVAX and AVAT as a matter of urgency, be more transparent about what goes into each location and share technical knowledge and non-exclusive licenses so that all regions can increase their manufacturing capacity".
Finally, it has asked the global and regional multilateral development banks to "support countries to more quickly access the capital they need to finance vaccine supply programs".