Share excess of vaccines to accelerate Covid vaccination

Share excess of vaccines to accelerate Covid vaccination

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Covid vaccination drive in world

Second wave of Covid-19 pandemic has been far more dangerous than its first term in countries. While first variants took toll mostly from old and ailing people, new double-mutants have taken even youth in its grip. Deadly increase of Covid cases in India was apparently an output of irresponsible behavior of government as well as civilians. This has made a question mark on preparation of other countries if this happens elsewhere too.

Speed up Covid vaccination drive in world

If vulnerable countries do not have access to vaccines, they may have to face a situation like India, UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF recently alerted. Taking the vulnerability of poor nations into account, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore has asked wealthy countries to share Covid-19 vaccine. The UN agency chief also expressed concerns on UNICEF-partnered COVAX global vaccine equity mechanism delivering just 65 million doses a week worldwide.

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Vaccine delivery far less than demand

The delivery of vaccine doses was far less than the required 170 million doses per week, she informed. While pandemic is sweeping India and its neighbors, this shortfall of doses is expected to be 190 million a week by the time of upcoming G7 meet, she said. Fore also warned the world this can happen any country if UN precaution alerts remain unheeded as happened in India. She termed India’s situation as “not a unique” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many other countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Argentina and Brazil have faced an explosion in Covid cases, Fore said. With spike in Covid cases, health systems in these countries are struggling. While vaccine producer India is in fast grip of coronavirus, COVAX initiative is severely hurt, and doses are considerably under-supplied. As domestic demand soars, COVAX may miss intended 140 million doses meant for low-and-middle-income counties by May end.

Share doses with low-income nations

Further, COVAX may also not receive 50 million more doses in June, informed Fore. According to new data, the bloc along with European Union countries, can donate around 153 million doses to low-and-middle-income nations. This number is just 20 percent of their available supply over June, July and August. After sharing, these countries will still be able to vaccinate their people. To win “the global vaccination race” fully funding and supplying COVAX is inevitable, she said.

Meanwhile, UN’s health agency World Health Organization has urged rich nations to delay vaccination for their youth population, and donate doses to COVAX. In the wake of low-income countries currently receiving merely 0.3 percent of vaccine supply, the health agency head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus again warned the world against “vaccine nationalism”. As Covid-19 has claimed over 3.3 million lives so far, he suggested sharing vaccines with global vaccine solidarity initiative.

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