Countries that have already achieved high rate of vaccination against Covid-19 were urged by the International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and other multilateral-organization leaders to increase their efforts to deliver more doses of the vaccines to low and middle income countries that are finding it difficult to get access to enough vaccines.
In a joint statement, the heads of the World Bank Group, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization, along with Georgieva, expressed concerns about the possible inability to vaccinate at least 40 per cent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021. They urged rich countries to take urgent action on this matter.
It is expected that one of the crucial issues of discussions at a virtual global summit that the United States is organizing on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly will be the wide disparities in vaccination rates between advanced economies and developing countries.
Georgieva has been invited by United States president Joe Biden to speak at the September 22 event even though this is yet to be announced formally by the White House, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told the media on Thursday.
No comments on this were available from the White House.
There were reports earlier this week about the United States urging global leaders to pledge to follow an even more ambitious vaccination target dur4ing the summit. The US wants countries to work towards achieving vaccination for 70 per cent of the world’s population by the time of the 2022 General Assembly.
The countries that have achieved high rate of Covid-19 vaccination have also collectively purchased or secured supply of more than 2 billion vaccine doses more than are needed. This prompted the leaders to urge such countries to immediately swap their near-term delivery schedules that with global distribution programs so that the gaps in vaccination in low- and middle-income countries is covered as much as possible.
The high income countries were also urged to fulfill their dose donation pledges and allow vaccine making companies to move out from the contracts with such countries so that the additional doses could be supplied to the people in dire need of vaccines in the poorer countries.
The leaders of the group also called on vaccine manufacturers to prioritize and fulfill their contracts to COVAX and AVAT, an African distribution program, as well as to enhance transparency by sharing details on delivery schedules for all vaccine shipments
(Adapted from Tribune.com)