United Nations has called for global solidarity in vaccines’ distribution as the global vaccination gap poses threats to everyone across the world.
This comes amid on-going discourse over the inequitable distribution of vaccines which has seen most developing countries lag behind in the vaccination drive while wealthier nations cover lots of ground.
In a statement, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said solidarity means delivering on access to vaccines for everyone and fast.
“While COVID-19 circulates among unvaccinated people, it continues to mutate into variants that could be more transmissible, more deadly, or both. We are in a race between vaccines and variants. If the variants win, the pandemic could kill millions more and delay a global recovery for years.
“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve heard a lot about global solidarity. Unfortunately, words by themselves will not end the pandemic or curb the impact of the climate crisis. Now is the moment to show what solidarity means in practice,” he said.
Latest statistics show that 70 percent of people in developed countries have been vaccinated in contrast to less than 1 per cent vaccinated in low-income countries.
Most developing countries have seen their budgets to procure vaccines suffer severely due to the economic effects of the pandemic.
Guterres said pledges of doses and funds are welcome but the world needs about eleven billion doses to end the pandemic.
“We need not one billion, but at least eleven billion doses to vaccinate 70 percent of the world and end this pandemic. Donations and good intentions will not get us there. This calls for the greatest global public health effort in history,” he added.
The Secretary General challenged the G20, backed by major producing countries and international financial institutions to put in place a global vaccination plan to reach everybody, everywhere, sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe received two million doses from China yesterday with another 3,5 million expected this month as government intensifies the vaccination programme.