The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reiterated its warning against ‘vaccine nationalism’.
Speaking during the WHO’s bi-weekly media briefing, agency chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Last September in the Economist we warned about the threat of vaccine nationalism and some said we were being alarmist.
In January, I spoke about the potential unfolding of a moral catastrophe.
Unfortunately, we are now witnessing this play out.
In a handful of rich countries, which bought up the majority of the vaccine supply, lower risk groups are now being vaccinated.
I understand why some countries want to vaccinate their children and adolescents, but right now I urge them to reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to COVAX.”
Because in low and lower-middle income countries, vaccine supply has not been enough to even immunize health and care workers, and hospitals are being inundated with people that need lifesaving care urgently.
At present, only 0.3% of vaccine supply is going to low-income countries.
Trickle down vaccination is not an effective strategy for fighting a deadly respiratory virus.”
Tedros stressed that the only way out of the pandemic is through a combination of public health measures and vaccination, not one or the other.