World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that it plan to vaccinate 40% of the population of every country against COVID-19 by the end of 2021 and 70% by mid-2022, by prioritizing vaccine delivery to low-income countries, particularly those in Africa.
This was disclosed on Thursday at a press briefing by Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus where it launched the strategy to Achieve Global COVID-19 Vaccination by mid-2022. He said, “The strategy outlines the road we must all take together to achieve our targets of vaccinating 40% of the population of every country by the end of this year, and 70% by the middle of next year.”
According to Tedros, achieving these targets will require at least 11 billion vaccine doses, which is an allocation problem instead of a supply problem.
“With global vaccine production now at nearly 1.5 billion doses per month, there is enough supply to achieve our targets, provided they are distributed equitably,” he said.
WHO has recorded more than 6.4 billion vaccine doses have now been administered globally, and almost one third of the world’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, low-income countries have received less than half of a percent of the world’s vaccines. In Africa, less than five percent of people are fully vaccinated.
However , early this year WHO has set a target for all countries to vaccinate 10% of their populations by the end of September, but 56 countries didn’t make it. That prompted UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to join the WHO chief in launching the latest strategy.
“Vaccine inequality is the best ally of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Antonio Guterres said, but “through dose sharing, swaps, technology transfers and other priority actions, it is possible to reduce deaths and minimize suffering, prevent health systems from being overwhelmed, resume social and economic activities, and reduce the risk of dangerous new variants.”
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also appealed for help from the G20. He added that “their meeting later this month will be an opportunity to deliver.”