Last minute: WHO: 1 billion people did not receive a single dose of Kovid-19 vaccine

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), stated that approximately 1 billion people, corresponding to 85 percent of the population in the African continent, could not receive a single dose of Kovid-19 vaccine.

At the opening of the tenth meeting of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Covid-19 Emergency Committee, Ghebreyesus drew attention to the global inequality and injustice in Kovid-19 vaccines.

Pointing out that barriers such as vaccine nationalism, politicization of the epidemic and short-term self-interest are fueling the evolution and spread of the virus, Ghebreyesus said, “As a result, many countries are not able to meet their basic (vaccine) needs or modest goals.”

Stating that more than 9.4 billion doses of Kovid-19 vaccine are currently administered worldwide, Ghebreyesus said, “However, 90 countries did not reach the target of vaccinating 40 percent of their populations by the end of last year, and 36 of these countries have not yet vaccinated 10 percent of their populations.” shared his knowledge.

Stating that a single dose of Kovid-19 vaccine could not be administered to approximately 1 billion people, which corresponds to 85 percent of the population in the African continent, Ghebreyesus said, “If we cannot close this gap, we cannot end the acute phase of the epidemic.” made a warning.

Ghebreyesus reminded that they established the WHO Kovid-19 Vaccine Composition Technical Advisory Group (TAG-CO-VAC) in September 2021.

In the statement made this week by TAG-CO-VAC, Ghebreyesus stated that there is a need for new Kovid-19 vaccines that have a greater effect on preventing infection and transmission, as well as serious illness and death in the epidemic, and noted that existing vaccines can be updated until such vaccines are developed.

“A vaccine strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable,” Ghebreyesus said in the TAG-CO-VAC statement. Reminding that the phrase was included, he gave the message that he was against the reminder dose.

The WHO Director-General emphasized that the urgent priority of countries should be to have the first vaccinations of risky groups worldwide who have never been vaccinated, instead of applying a “reminder dose”.

Ghebreyesus underlined that although the current Kovid-19 vaccines are very effective in preventing serious diseases and deaths, they cannot completely prevent transmission.

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