Friday, May 20, 2022

COVID program delivers 1 billion doses to poor countries – Egypt Independent

BERLIN ( Associated Press) – The World Health Organization said on Sunday that a United Nations-backed program to send coronavirus vaccines to many poor countries has now distributed 1 billion doses, but that the milestone is “only a reminder of that work.” “The one who lives after hoarding and stockpiling. rich country.

A shipment of 1.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Rwanda on Saturday included the billionth dose supplied through the COVAX program, the UN health agency said.

The WHO has long criticized the uneven distribution of vaccines and called on manufacturers and other countries to prioritize COVAX. It said that, as of Thursday, 36 of its 194 member states had vaccinated less than 10% of their population and 88 had less than 40%.

The program has delivered deliveries to 144 countries so far, the WHO said in a statement, “but the work that has gone into this milestone is only a reminder of the work that remains.”

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“COVAX’s ambition was compromised by hoarding/stocking in rich countries, devastating outbreaks that closed borders and supplies,” it added. “And the lack of licensing, technology and information sharing by drug companies means that manufacturing capacity goes untapped.”

In late December, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged everyone to make a “New Year’s resolution” to back the campaign to vaccinate 70% of the countries’ population by early July.

In a newspaper interview published on Sunday, Germany’s new minister for international development said she wants to use her country’s presidency of the Group of Seven industrialized countries this year to ensure that COVAX will be able to meet the needs it needs in 2022. Received resources.

“Unfortunately, there are still very few countries participating in the funding of the global vaccination campaign,” Svenja Schultz was quoted as telling the Funke newspaper group. “Along with Sweden, Norway, Canada and the US, we are paying the most. Other industrialized countries have significant bases to hold onto.”

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Germany has said it donated 103 million doses to poor countries last year and plans to donate another 75 million in 2022.

Schultz indicated that she wants to expand help to developing countries to produce the vaccines themselves, with a preferred objective being partnerships between companies to produce vaccines under license.

Asked whether it would make sense to waive the patent on the COVID-19 patent, which Germany’s previous government had opposed, he replied: “I doubt that if we waive the patent, developing countries will will get vaccines more easily.” The issue is only a small part of the production process, she argued.

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Follow Associated Press’s pandemic coverage https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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