According to the World Health Organization, countries are falling short of the shared goal of vaccinating 70% of each country’s population by the middle of this year, as well as the targets for testing and treatment.
WHO, on the other hand, announced a collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund and Gavi to launch the COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership, led by Ted Chaiban.
Through political engagement, delivery funding, technical assistance, and surge support, the initiative aims to support government-led vaccine strategies.
WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, said in his opening remarks at the 9th meeting of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator Facilitation Council that many of the supply and delivery constraints faced last year have been overcome, with nearly 1.2 billion doses of vaccine delivered.
He also emphasized the importance of addressing the critical question of how vaccines are turned into vaccinations, as well as how to ensure that all countries have enough tests, oxygen to treat patients, and personal protective equipment to keep health workers safe.
“We are far from meeting our shared goal of vaccinating 70% of every country’s population by the middle of this year, as well as our testing and treatment targets.”
“To assist government-led vaccine strategies through political engagement, delivery funding, technical assistance, and surge support, WHO, UNICEF, and Gavi have launched the COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership, led by Ted Chaiban, to support our efforts to achieve our vaccination target.”
“And, in order to meet all of our objectives, we are urging all countries to contribute to the ACT Accelerator’s urgent funding gap of US$16 billion.”
“This is critical not only for saving lives and containing the pandemic but also for driving a truly inclusive global recovery that benefits all countries.”
The DG thanked South Africa and Norway for launching the campaign to encourage countries to pay their “fair share” to the ACT-Accelerator. Also recognized is the Facilitation Council’s Finance and Resource Mobilisation Working Group for its work on the financing framework that underpins the fair share requests.
“Today, we’ll hear about how the ACT Accelerator helped Kenya scale up testing and sequencing, as well as Rwanda’s achievement of reaching 40 percent vaccine coverage by the end of last year.”
“These inspiring examples must motivate us as there is still much work to be done.”
“These must be our top priorities in our discussions today, as well as in the coming weeks and months:
“First and foremost, every country should commit to meeting vaccination, testing, treatment, and personal protective equipment (PPE) targets while focusing on overcoming bottlenecks;
“Second, higher-income countries should contribute their ‘fair share’ to the ACT Accelerator, based on the size of their economies.”
“Third, we must keep equitable access at the forefront of the agendas of the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in April and the G20 and G7 Health Ministers meetings in May,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan.