Health, trade chiefs urge prioritizing COVID-19 vaccine for poorer countries

(VOVWORLD) - The world’s leading organizations launched a joint petition on Saturday to coronavirus vaccine producers to prioritize delivering doses to low- and middle-income countries.

In a statement, the leaders of the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Trade Organization (OMC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank reiterated the urgency of providing access to vaccines against Covid-19, tests and treatments to developing countries.

They called on countries with advanced vaccination programs to release as soon as possible the maximum of their contracted doses that they can to COVAX (the WHO-led mechanism to improve equity in access to vaccines in the world), AVAT (the African Vaccine Acquisition Fund).

The leaders urged the manufacturers of anti-COVID vaccines to redouble their efforts to scale the production of vaccines specifically for low- and lower-middle-income countries and to ensure that the supply of doses for COVAX and  these countries takes precedence over the delivery of booster doses.

They also called on governments to reduce or eliminate barriers to the export of vaccines and materials required for their production.

So far, more than 4 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered in the world, according to a count by the AFP news agency.

In high-income countries, according to the World Bank classification, 98.2 doses were injected per 100 inhabitants.

In contrast, in the 29 lowest-income countries in the world, only 1.6 doses were administered per 100 people.