Advertisement
Monday, Dec 06, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

WHO Chief Urges Rich Nations, Covid Vaccine Makers To Stop Bilateral Deals

Tedros Adhanom called on countries that have more jabs than they need to make some available to the UN-backed project, COVAX Facility to widen access to the jabs

WHO Chief Urges Rich Nations, Covid Vaccine Makers To Stop Bilateral Deals
Director-General of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus | PTI photo
WHO Chief Urges Rich Nations, Covid Vaccine Makers To Stop Bilateral Deals
outlookindia.com
2021-01-09T11:12:01+05:30

The World Health Organisation chief appealed on Friday to makers of Covid-19 vaccines and the wealthier countries buying them to “stop making bilateral deals,” saying they hurt a UN-backed effort to widen access to the jabs.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said 42 countries are now rolling out such vaccines, mostly high-income and a few middle-income countries. He called on countries that have more jabs than they need to make some available to the COVAX Facility — the UN-backed project to get vaccines deployed widely.

“Now, we are also seeing both high- and middle-income countries that are part of COVAX making additional bilateral deals,” he told reporters in Geneva. “This potentially bumps up the price for everyone and means high-risk people in the poorest and most marginalized countries don't get the vaccine.” “I urge countries and manufacturers to stop making bilateral deals at the expense of COVAX,” said Tedros, the WHO director-general.

Tedros also urged manufacturers to make the data about their vaccines available, which is needed for the U.N. health agency to be able to provide “emergency use listings” that can expedite their deployment.

The lack of such data “blocks the whole system of procurement and delivery,” he said.

WHO officials, who generally shun finger-pointing at specific countries and companies that they need to work with, did not specify which ones need to do more to help broaden access to vaccines.

But Canada, for example, is known to have far greater access to vaccines that its population needs. And partners Pfizer and BioNTech, which make the first vaccine that received emergency use approval from the WHO and countries like the U.S. and Britain, have not reached a deal to take part in the COVAX Facility.
Dr. Bruce Aylward, a special adviser to the WHO chief, said 50% of high-income countries are deploying vaccines — and “zero percent” of poor countries are.

“That is not equitable access,” he said. The appeals come as the world has faced high case counts in recent weeks -- roughly 4 million new confirmed infections per week, said WHO emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan.

Tedros said some of the highest numbers of deaths recorded at any point in the pandemic have turned up in recent days, and faulted a lack of compliance with recommendations of health authorities.

The WHO also said a team of experts who had originally expected to arrive in China this week to look into the origins of the pandemic had not yet arrived, saying that now, “we expect to fix the travel dates next week.” On Tuesday, Tedros said he was “very disappointed” that Chinese officials had not finalised the needed permissions for the team's arrival in China.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Songs Of Freedom & Redemption: The Unsung Stars Of Hip-Hop

Songs Of Freedom & Redemption: The Unsung Stars Of Hip-Hop

In impoverished neighbourhoods across the world are the true heroes, the unsung stars of hip-hop.

Nagaland:14 Civilians, One Soldier Killed In Firing And Rioting

Nagaland:14 Civilians, One Soldier Killed In Firing And Rioting

Nagaland tension: The mob went on a rampage, demanding immediate action against the security personnel who was involved in the killing of the 13 civilians.

Patel Reflects On His 'Dream Year,' Talks About Three All-rounders

Patel Reflects On His 'Dream Year,' Talks About Three All-rounders

Axar Patel has so far claimed 36 wickets in five Test matches in 2021, including five fifers and one 10-wicket haul.

Himachal Pradesh Becomes First State To Achieve 100 % Vaccination

Himachal Pradesh Becomes First State To Achieve 100 % Vaccination

Himachal 100 % vaccination: Union Minister for Health Mansukh Manadaviya said the Himachal model will be replicated in other states in the country.

Advertisement