Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Director-General of the World Health Organization accuses rich countries of undermining the vaccine distribution system


Geneva: The Director-General of the World Health Organization on Monday accused “some rich countries of undermining” the Kovacs system, which is designed to ensure the fair distribution of vaccines against the Coronavirus, by insisting on communicating directly with manufacturers to obtain more doses.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a joint press conference via video with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier that “some rich countries are currently communicating directly with manufacturers to ensure that they obtain additional doses of vaccines, which affects the contracts signed with Kovacs. As a result, the number of doses allocated has decreased.” For Kovacs. “

The Kovacs system was adopted in an effort to prevent rich countries from monopolizing all doses of vaccines that are still being manufactured in limited quantities that do not meet global demand.

In particular, the Kovacs system includes a funding mechanism that ensures that the vaccines are provided to 92 low and medium-level countries.

However, in light of the vaccine supply crisis, it is not expected that poor countries will receive the first shipments before the end of the month, while many rich countries will start vaccination campaigns at the end of 2020.

Ghebreyesus was asked about the commitments of the United States, the European Union and Germany to significantly increase their contributions to Kovacs, and he expressed his disappointment.

“Having money does not mean anything if it cannot be used to buy vaccines,” he said. “We cannot deliver vaccines to Kovacs member states unless the rich countries cooperate and respect the contracts signed by Kovacs,” he said.

He called on these countries without naming them not to adopt a behavior that undermines the distribution system supervised by the World Health Organization and the Alliance for Vaccines, “Gavi” and others, adding, “But I do not think they ask themselves this question.”

For his part, Steinmeier called for vaccines to be distributed more widely, for ethical reasons, but also because it is in everyone’s interest to eliminate the virus quickly to avoid the continued emergence of mutated copies of it that may be more dangerous around the world.

But he acknowledged that “governments have duties to their people before anything else.”





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