Sluggish Covax initiative: WHO calls for vaccine for poor countries

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Status: 26.03.2021 8:19 p.m.

Around 20 states have so far not received a vaccine dose, although the coronavirus is also threatening people there. The WHO therefore urges rich countries to live up to their responsibilities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the international community to donate vaccine to poorer countries. Ten million vaccine doses would be needed immediately for around 20 countries that have so far been without any vaccine, said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He complained that the global rush for vaccines had delayed deliveries for the so-called Covax initiative.

The international Covax initiative wants to achieve a fair worldwide distribution of corona vaccines. Originally, 238 million cans were to be delivered to the poorest countries by the end of May. However, the initiative suffered a severe setback after deliveries from vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII) stalled for March and April.

The SII, which produces the AstraZeneca vaccine, supplies both the domestic market and the international Covax initiative. However, due to the great demand in India, the Indian government is currently not issuing export permits for around 90 million cans.

Aid agencies turn to US President Biden

In order to nevertheless strengthen the Covax initiative, several international non-governmental organizations appealed to US President Joe Biden to share the success of his vaccination campaign with the world. Biden had emphasized several times since taking office that his primary goal was to vaccinate the entire US population against the corona virus. This goal is within reach: From May 1, all adults in the US should have access to corona vaccinations, and sufficient vaccine for the entire US population is expected by the end of July.

This is the hope of the 30 non-governmental organizations, including ONE Campaign, the International Rescue Committee, Catholic Relief Services and Save the Children. In a letter they ask the US government to give excess vaccines to the Covax initiative. Covax is a way to produce “maximum fairness” in vaccine distribution.

EU authorities expect an increase in migration

Meanwhile, EU experts apparently expect that a “vaccine egoism” of the rich countries in the summer could contribute to an increase in migration. According to information from “Spiegel”, this emerges from a confidential protocol of an EU video conference.

The border protection agency Frontex, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the asylum agency EASO are warning of an increase in the number of migrants in the Mediterranean region. EASO and EAD cite a “poor economic and medical situation in the countries of origin” as the main reason.

According to “Spiegel”, the EU experts report that in most of the refugees’ countries of origin little or no vaccination has been carried out to date. The Covax initiative has so far delivered 32 million doses of vaccine to 60 poorer countries. The EU made one billion euros available to Covax, but hardly any vaccine. The 77 million cans that she has exported so far have mainly gone to industrialized countries.





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Sluggish Covax initiative calls vaccine poor countries

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