G20 leaders need to fulfill their dose-sharing pledges by September-end 2021, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries at health meet in Rome
World leaders need to fulfill their pledges to share novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines by September-end 2021, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO) urged G20 countries at the health ministers meeting in Rome September 5.
They need to facilitate the sharing of technology, know-how and intellectual property to support regional COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing, he added.
G20 health ministers, in their last meeting in Riyadh a year ago, had hoped the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic would be under control by now. But the situation continues to spiral out of control, and vaccine inequity continues to afflict several countries.
Many countries continue to face steep increases in cases and deaths, despite the fact that more than 5 billion vaccines have now been administered worldwide. But almost 75 per cent of those doses have been administered in just 10 countries. Africa has the lowest vaccination coverage at 2 per cent. This is unacceptable.
He called the G20 leaders as the largest producers, consumers and donors of COVID-19 vaccines, who hold the key to achieving vaccine equity and ending the pandemic.
The director-general outlined four major areas of action:
He requested the health ministers to empower the WHO by supporting initiatives that strengthen, and not weaken, its mandate. He urged them to commit to a historic reversal of the current imbalance between assessed and voluntary contributions.
“We can never allow a pandemic on this scale to happen again. And we can never allow an injustice like this to happen again,” he added.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.