COVAX can become failure because of selfishness of rich countries
12:35 | 22.01.2021 Category: Interview, Event
Chisinau, 22 January /MOLDPRES/- The international organization COVAX was set up to ensure the equitable distribution of COVID vaccines globally. It is a noble cause, as in a mobile world you cannot solve the problem of the pandemic with neighbors left to their fate. It is unfortunate that so far there is no tool to prevent rich countries from buying large batches of vaccines, without taking into account the potential of poorer countries.
Today we have countries in the European Union or the United Kingdom that have administered 12 million doses of vaccines, and others, such as the Republic of Moldova, do not even have a set time horizon to receive the first vaccines and start mass immunization.
The EU has signed contracts for 2.3 billion doses, which allows you to vaccinate all EU citizens three times. Several countries with high financial potential want to complete the vaccination process in September. The vaccination plan for the countries is 60-70 percent of the population, a very ambitious figure, but ineffective if neighboring countries have not immunized the population.
Although COVAX has planned 2 billion doses of vaccines for the poorest countries and provide 20% of the population of the participating countries by late 2021, to date no dose has been delivered. In total, 92 countries urgently need help.
EU countries have provided financial assistance for the procurement of vaccines under the Covax program.
Rich countries, forced by serious situation, buy through direct negotiations increasing batches from producers' limited reserves.
WHO President Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also criticized countries that “while speaking the language of fair access, continue to prioritize bilateral agreements, avoiding COVAX, raising prices and trying to jump the line. This is wrong. "
COVAX is planning to start immunization in poor countries by February, but it seems that the impediments created by developed countries will considerably delay the onset.
There has been much talk about a possible donation of excess vaccines to poor countries, but for now, despite forecasts, in almost all of these rich countries there is increased agiotage and demand that currently exceeds supply. Norway appears to be the only country that has explicitly promised to donate doses of COVAX vaccine in the early stages of vaccination.
Meanwhile, some desperate countries are forced to accept vaccines not authorized by international institutions. Thus, Turkey, Argentina, Belarus, Thailand, Philippines and others resorted to Russian and Chinese vaccines, which have not yet been approved internationally. It seems to be the first serious signal that the COVAX program may be overtaken and a failure to try to appeal to the feeling of human solidarity.