The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday called on twenty leaders who have the power to address the “shameful” global imbalance in access to COVID-19 vaccines to reverse the trend before October.
“There are probably twenty people in the world who are key to solving this equity issue,” WHO’s Bruce Aylward said during a live conversation on social media.
“They are the heads of the big companies that take care of it, they are the heads of the countries that buy most of the vaccines in the world, and they are the heads of the countries that produce them. We need to say to these twenty people, ‘We’re going to fix this problem by the end of September. We will ensure that 10% (of the population) of each country is vaccinated,” he said.
Aylward, a WHO official on access to equipment to fight the pandemic, said the situation should “disgus” the world.
The WHO sees this as a moral scandal that is increasingly raging, namely that wealthy countries are holding onto vaccine stocks while developing countries struggle to vaccinate their most vulnerable populations.
In high-income countries, 104 doses were injected per 100 people. Only two doses per 100 people were given in the 29 lowest-income countries.
“We must collectively hate ourselves,” Aylward said.
WHO wants each country to vaccinate at least 10% of its population by the end of September, at least 40% by the end of the year, and 70% by the middle of 2022.