Health

Need to ramp up vaccine supply for developing countries: Global task force on COVID-19

Heads of the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization met for the first time July 1 

 
By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 01 July 2021
Need ramp up vaccine supply for developing countries, says global taskforce on COVID-19. Photo: Flickr

There is an urgency to increase supplies of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics for developing countries as new variants of the novel coronavirus emerge and the world stares at yet another wave of COVID-19, the heads of the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization said July 1, 2021.

They had convened for the first meeting of the task force on COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics for developing Countries.

According to the joint statement:

“As many countries are struggling with new variants and a third wave of COVID-19 infections, accelerating access to vaccines becomes even more critical to ending the pandemic everywhere and achieving broad-based growth. We are deeply concerned about the limited vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and support for deliveries available to developing countries.”

It pressed for urgent action to arrest the rising human toll due to the pandemic and to bridge the gap economic recovery between advanced economies and the rest.

The heads had formed the task force to help track, coordinate and advance delivery of COVID-19 health tools to developing countries. Developing countries faced several critical roadblocks — including lack of vaccines and vaccine hesitancy.

The World Bank June 30 announced it has increased its COVID-19 vaccine fund for developing countries by $8 billion to $20 billion. The bank's private financing arm secured a $710 million package for a South African vaccine manufacturer to ramp up production, it said. 

The International Monetary Fund had in May 2021 convened a meeting to discuss ways to end the pandemic. Among the proposal targets were:

  • Vaccinating at least 40 per cent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and at least 60 per cent by the first half of 2022
  • Tracking and insuring against downside risks, and
  • Ensuring widespread testing and tracing, maintaining adequate stocks of therapeutics

The heads said in the July 1 meeting: “We are calling on G20 countries to embrace the target of at least 40 per cent in every country by end-2021; share more vaccine doses now, including by ensuring at least one billion doses are shared with developing countries in 2021 starting immediately; provide financing, including grants and concessional financing.

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