Will the dreaded fourth wave of Covid-19 trigger a new vaccine race? While in Europe and the United States it is about booster doses and vaccination of children, the rest of the world is still largely deprived of vaccine.
as reported from Geneva, Jeremiah Lanche
One billion doses for developing countries before 1 September. This was what the expert panel commissioned by the WHO requested in its report delivered in May last year. We are very far from that: almost 100 million doses have been delivered by the Covax vaccine sharing program.
Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clarke, tasked by the WHO to assess the response to the pandemic, are once again urging rich countries to return their vaccines. They ordered more than twice the doses needed to protect their population. Without delivering most of the 600 million doses they promised to the least developed countries.
The United States, for its part, has already sent 100 million doses and is preparing to give 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Another block: it applies capacity for vaccine production in poor countries. Still very limited.
In May, the panel demanded the automatic revocation of vaccine patents if no agreement was reached within the WTO within three months. More than three months have passed. And the file has still not moved a jot.