GENEVA(UN NEWS CENTRE) — World Health Organisation(WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called for funding to fight the spread of the deadly Delta variant while also asking wealthy countries to suspend plans to provide booster shots.
International efforts to slow the COVID-19 Delta variant have been hampered by its particularly virulent nature, which has led to hot spots of hospitalisations and deaths throughout regions with low vaccination levels and limited public health measures.
Tedros insisted that there are solutions to the challenge, such as the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.
However, this plan urgently needs an additional US$1 billion. Similarly, a US$7.7 billion appeal has been launched to scale up the ACT-Accelerator initiative, which is providing testing, treatments, vaccines and protective equipment for health workers, along with enhanced research and development into the next generation of health tools.
In response to plans by some countries to provide booster jabs, Tedros issued a reminder that only 75 percent of all vaccine supply has gone to just 10 countries, and that low-income countries have only vaccinated around two percent of their populations.
Given the huge inequity, the top WHO official called for a temporary moratorium on boosters, to ensure that supplies can be shifted to those countries experiencing major spikes in infection.
Whilst the WHO has convened health experts to debate the available data on the efficacy of boosters, the priority remains providing first shots, and protecting the most vulnerable.
“The divide between the haves and have nots will only grow larger”, he declared, “if manufacturers and leaders prioritise booster shots over supply to low- and middle-income countries.
The WHO chief said that in an interconnected world, in which the COVID-19 virus is mutating quickly, national leaders need to commit to vaccine equity and global solidarity to save lives and slow down variants.
“Vaccine injustice is a shame on all humanity”, he added, “and if we don’t tackle it together, we will prolong the acute stage of this pandemic for years when it could be over in a matter of months” …. PACNEWS

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *