WHO Urges G20 Countries to fulfill COVID-19 Pledges and Support Regional Vaccine Production

Despite the fact that more than five billion vaccines have been delivered globally, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that “many countries continue to face steep increases in cases and deaths” 

“But almost 75 percent of those doses have been administered in just 10 countries” he continued, noting that Africa has the lowest vaccine coverage at 2%. “This is unacceptable”.

WHO’s global goals are to help every country vaccinate at least 10% of its population by the end of the month, 40% by the end of the year, and 70% by the middle of the next year.

He asserted that as the major manufacturers, consumers, and donors of COVID-19 vaccines, they are the key to attaining vaccination fairness and putting an end to the pandemic.

According to Tedros, global solutions to the pandemic must be based on a set of key principles.

They must be multisectoral, engaging partners from across the One Health spectrum, linked to and aligned with WHO’s mandate, and ensure coherence with the International Health Regulations and other international instruments, according to him.

“They must be accountable and transparent,” the UN official added.

In light of this, the WHO director-general outlined four key areas for action, beginning with improved global governance.

An international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response will improve the framework for global collaboration by establishing game rules and increasing nation-to-nation solidarity. His second conclusion was that more and better funding for national and global readiness and the response were needed.

“Financing facilities must be built using existing financial institutions, rather than creating new ones that further fragment the global health architecture”, Tedros stated, adding that WHO has already taken steps toward better systems and tools across the One Health spectrum, which is his third act.

Finally, he stressed the importance of a “strengthened, empowered and sustainably financed WHO”  in order to fully implement the Organization’s vast mandate. If WHO is to be the independent and authoritative agency that the world requires, it must address this imbalance.

Finally, the WHO Director-General asked the G20 health ministers to replace COVAX’s near-term delivery timelines by fulfilling dose-sharing commitments and sharing technology, know-how, and intellectual property to assist regional vaccine manufacture.

He also asked them to support the creation and implementation of a legally enforceable international agreement on pandemic preparedness and response, as well as strengthening WHO by supporting efforts that “strengthen, not weaken” its mandate.

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