WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said this at a news conference in Geneva, appealing to countries to donate the excess vaccines to COVAX immediately.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that some countries have purchased excess COVID-19 vaccines.
Ghebreyesus confirmed that 42 countries are rolling out the various COVID-19 vaccines which have been cleared for emergency use, noting that 36 are in high-income countries.
He expressed concern that low and most middle-income countries are not receiving the vaccine yet.
The UN health chief said, “We can and must solve this problem together through COVAX and the ACT-Accelerator”.
COVAX was set up in April 2020 by WHO, GAVI, the vaccine alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
Ghebreyesus said two billion doses of “safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines” have been secured.
The WHO head appealed to countries to shun vaccine nationalism, meaning a country secures doses for its citizens and prioritises its own domestic markets before they are made available in other countries.
He added, “Going forward, I want to see manufacturers prioritise supply and rollout through COVAX.
“I urge countries and manufacturers to stop making bilateral deals at the expense of COVAX.”
“Science has delivered, let’s not waste the opportunity to protect the lives of those most at risk and ensure all economies have a fair shot at recovery.”