Global officials urge rich countries to donate excess COVID-19 vaccines to end the pandemic


Senior UN, finance and vaccine officials on Thursday urged rich countries to donate excess doses of COVID-19 vaccine to a program serving lower-income countries to end the pandemic and get the world economy going again.

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Senior UN, finance and vaccine officials on Thursday urged rich countries to donate excess doses of COVID-19 vaccine to a program serving lower-income countries to end the pandemic and get the world economy going again.

At an event organized by the Gavi Vaccine Alliance to increase support for the COVAX vaccine sharing initiative, officials called for an additional $ 2 billion through June for the program, which will run until 2021 1.8 billion cans are to be bought.

COVAX has shipped more than 38 million vaccine doses to 111 countries in seven weeks, most of them from AstraZeneca.

“The global supply is incredibly scarce right now. But we also know that many high-income countries have ordered more vaccines than they need,” said Gavi managing director Seth Berkley.

He urged them to share excess doses “as soon as possible in order to cover the high-risk populations with limited supplies during this time.”

Berkley later told a press conference that he expected more countries to donate excess cans. “That will depend … when you are politically comfortable to be able to do that.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a donation of enough doses to vaccinate more than 800,000 people on COVAX. This is supported by Gavi, the Coalition for Innovations in Epidemic Preparation (CEPI), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Almost $ 400 million was pledged on Thursday, including from Denmark, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden.

The United States, which donated half of its $ 4 billion pledged $ 4 billion to COVAX this year, has made no new commitments.

“When we get to a point where we are confident that every American can be vaccinated, we will do more worldwide,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC’s Meet The Press on Sunday.

Blinken, who looked at the Gavi event, noted that U.S. Congress recently allocated more than $ 11 billion to America’s global COVID-19 response.

“In many countries, dollars are now available to be spent on cans, but no supplies are available. I want to underline the importance of those countries with the prospect of excess vaccine supplies to release them as soon as possible “said the World Bank President David Malpass.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said some countries that had signed up for COVAX had not received doses, had not received enough, and some were not getting their vaccine allocations for the second round in time.

“There is still a shocking and growing inequality in the spread of vaccines around the world,” he warned.

Henrietta Fore, executive director of UNICEF, urged richer countries to invest generously in COVAX and donate excess cans as it was the only way to end the pandemic and “get the world economy going again”.

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