- by E. Nriezedi
- 10:43 AM January 23, 2022
The World Health Organisation stated that it would miss its target to vaccinate 40 percent of the population in every country by the end of the year, and 70% by the middle of next year. The WHO revealed that vaccination shortfalls are especially low in Africa and many developing countries.
More or less than half the WHO’s 194 member countries will not meet the global vaccination goal to vaccine the greater population of the world. WHO also noted that less than 10 percent of the population had not been vaccinated, in about 40 countries.
In a statement on the WHO website, titled “Vaccine Equity, It is Only Possible Until it is Done”, it noted that
“WHO set a target for all countries to vaccinate 10% of their populations by the end of September. 56 countries effectively excluded from the global vaccine marketplace were not able to reach this target – and most of them in Africa.
“Even more countries are at risk of missing the WHO targets of vaccinating 40% of the population of every country by the end of this year, and 70% by the middle of next year.
The data provided by the WHO said that while in Germany about 171 vaccine doses per 100 inhabitants had been administered, in Madagascar it was vaccination intake was under 2.7. In the Democratic Republic of Congo 0.32 vaccine had been administered to the population so so far. In most countries in Africa, vaccination intake remain below the two-digit range.
The WHO has also attributed much of the blame on vaccine hoarding, particularly among a handful of wealthy Western countries, which are already administering booster jabs. The world body also expressed concern with the way the lack covid-19 vaccine licences. It noted that pharmaceutical firms have also expressed reluctance to manufacturers share technical know-how despite the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool and the mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub put in place by the world health body. Although some progress has been made, to transfer technology, especially in South Africa, little or no progress has been made worldwide.
The statement on the WHO website asserted that “The global failure to share vaccines equitably is taking its toll on some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. New variants of concern mean that the risks of infection have increased in all countries for people who are not yet protected by vaccination.”
Dozens of countries are dependent on supplies from COVAX, the UN-backed vaccine-sharing programme intended to get shots in the arms of people in lower-income countries. Prosperous countries have been called out for not doing enough to support global vaccine equity through COVAX.
Worldwide, more than 8.6 billion vaccine doses had been administered by Tuesday, but mostly in high-income countries that have the resources to secure their own contracts with vaccine manufacturers.
By the last week of December, COVAX had delivered 722 million doses.
On the other hand, the pharmaceutical industry is convinced that it is not a lack of doses that is responsible for the imbalance in vaccination intake in the world
According to estimates by the pharmaceutical association, IFPMA, about 1.4 billion vaccine doses were manufactured in December alone. Rather, it states that vaccination scepticism is high in many countries, and many have a problem with vaccine distribution.
The WHO however disagrees with the notion of the pharmaceutical association, it noted that the countries would be ready if they received the doses in an organised and timely fashion.
Although, many western countries have collectively pledged more than a billion doses as donations, the WHO laments that deliveries often take a long time to materialise.
Some of the jabs also have only a few weeks left until the expiry date, which makes distribution to poorer countries, especially complicated.