Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said on Monday the world “desperately” needs to keep rich countries on their pledges to donate COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries.
His remarks came after health ministers from the Group of 20 major economies reportedly agreed – at the first meeting of their two-day meeting in Rome – to ensure that COVID vaccines reach everyone in the world. poor countries.
“Pledges are one thing, but we desperately need to keep those pledges. As of last week, only 89 million doses have been redistributed from high-income countries to low- and middle-income countries, ”Clark told CNBC’s“ Capital ”. link.”
Clarke co-chaired an independent expert panel established by the World Health Organization to review global pandemic preparedness and response.
The panel released its final report in May, recommending that high-income countries redistribute at least one billion doses of COVID vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income countries by September 1 and one billion doses by September 1. mid-2222. Do it.
excess supplements in rich countries
Experts – including renowned epidemiologist Larry Brilliant – have said widespread immunization coverage is needed to limit new variants of the coronavirus and end the global pandemic.
But of the more than 5 billion doses of COVID vaccine administered worldwide, around 75% were administered in just 10 countries, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Sunday in a speech at the meeting of G-20 health ministers.
Tedros has repeatedly urged rich countries to halt COVID vaccine recalls so that poorer countries have the opportunity to vaccinate more people with the first dose.
Rich countries have an “extra dose,” Clark said. He said it could help meet WHO’s goal of immunizing 40% of each country’s population by the end of this year, and then increasing that number to 70% by mid-July. next year.
“We have to meet to have a chance to curb the pandemic,” Clark said.
Analysis by Airfinity, a scientific information and analysis company, estimated that wealthy countries will have more than 1.2 billion doses of COVID vaccines available for donation in 2021.
Airfinity said the excess dose was calculated based on the needs of rich countries, including booster shots.