The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Saturday at least 42 countries had already rolled out the various COVID-19 vaccines cleared for use by relevant authorities.
The WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, who disclosed this during the COVID-19 news conference at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, said 36 out of the countries are high-income nations.
He said: “There’s a clear problem that low and most middle-income countries are not receiving the vaccine yet.
“We can and must solve this problem together through COVAX and the ACT-Accelerator.”
COVAX – set up in April 2020 by WHO, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) – are part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator to provide COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines to all, regardless of their ability to pay.
According to the WHO chief, two billion doses of “safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines” have been secured by the international equitable vaccine alliance — COVAX, which will be ready for distribution as soon as delivered.
Ghebreyesus added: “And we also have the right of first refusal on an additional one billion doses.”
He noted that rich countries had bought most of the supply so far while middle and high-income countries were still making bilateral deals.