COVID-19 vaccines “remain out of reach” in the poorest countries: WHO

In a report on Friday, marking the first anniversary of the COVAX dose-sharing facility, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has denounced “inequities” in vaccine distribution.

“Nearly 900 million vaccine doses have been administered globally, but over 81% have gone to high or upper middle-income countries, while low-income countries have received just 0.3%,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of WHO said.

Speaking about the ACT (Access to Covid-19 Tools) accelerator set up a year ago, Tedros has urged wealthier countries to share excess doses to help inoculate health workers in low-income countries.

“Low-income countries test less than 5% as much as high-income countries, and the majority of countries still have trouble accessing sufficient oxygen and dexamethasone,” Tedros said.

COVAX, which has shipped 40.5 million doses to 118 countries so far, aims to secure 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.