World Health Organization sounds alarm on vaccine shortage in poor countries

22 Juin, 2021, 17:23 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • President Joe Biden speaks about reaching 300 million COVID-19 vaccination shots in the State Dining Room of the White House Friday

Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced the plan for the first 2.50 crore vaccine doses that the U.S. has already started shipping.

Of the 55 million remaining doses, some 41 million will be shared through COVAX, the White House said, with approximately 14 million going to Latin America and the Caribbean, some 16 million to Asia, and roughly 10 million to Africa. Less than one per cent of Covid vaccine doses globally have been administered to people in low-income countries.

The Biden administration on Monday announced a list of countries that will receive the remaining 55 million COVID-19 vaccine doses that the USA has pledged to allocate by the end of this month. In the first tranche of 25 million, India is expected to get about 2 million to 3 million doses. With more and more Americans getting the shots, the White House increasingly has turned its attention to getting vaccine out internationally. "This is a Herculean logistical challenge".

The Biden administration didn't say when the doses will start shipping.

The first tranche included the Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, but it was not immediately clear what the second tranche would comprise.

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The White House also said, "In addition, the U.S.is committed to expanding local production of vaccines, and through our Quad partnership and the International Development Finance Corporation's support for vaccine manufacturing, more than 1 billion doses will be produced in Africa and India in 2021 and 2022".

The announcement, however, dials back the initial USA commitment.

The remaining one-fourth will be spread among at least two dozen places to help address virus surges, including Colombia, Argentina, Haiti, the Philippines, Vietnam, Iraq, Ukraine, Bosnia, South Africa, the West Bank and Gaza. But with many countries unable to vaccinate even a tiny percentage of their populations, global health officials are pressing the United States to move as quickly as possible to share its vaccine supply.

The numbers were compiled Friday by Kyodo News based on data from Gavi, an alliance of governments, worldwide organizations, companies and charities that promote the COVAX program in cooperation with the World Health Organization, as well as from Association of Southeast Asian Nations governments.

The White House added that countries that would receive the vaccine through direct sharing are Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Egypt, Colombia, Argentina, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and many others.

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