President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier
The Federal Republic of Germany has already launched government consultations on the specific scope and timing of such a step, Steinmeier said.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called on rich countries to provide some of their vaccines to poorer countries. The politician made this statement on Monday, February 22, at a joint online press conference with the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Berlin.
“In the coming weeks and months, vaccine doses will still be a scarce commodity everywhere,” the German head of state stressed. “The sooner we in Europe and Germany are ready to give away some of what is reserved for us, the sooner we can contain the spread of the infection around the world,” Steinmeier added.
According to the politician, the extent to which countries will be able to achieve international cooperation in the distribution of vaccines, tests and medicines will become “a litmus test for international solidarity.”
WHO chief urges “not to undermine” COVAX
Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron said that developed countries could redistribute 4-5% of their vaccine stocks in favor of developing countries. The German president specified that at this stage, government consultations have already been launched on the issue of specific volumes and time frames.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in turn, commented on the results of the summit of heads of state and government of the G7 countries on 19 February. As a result, Germany, in particular, promised to provide another 1.5 billion euros to the COVAX program, the World Health Organization and other international institutions. The head of WHO noted on February 22 that the allocation of funding is a positive step, but it will not help in the fight against the global pandemic if there are no vaccines left on the market for poor countries. “I ask high-income states: when you go to manufacturers to buy more vaccines, please make sure that it doesn’t undermine COVAX,” he stressed.
COVAX is a global mechanism initiated by WHO that aims to ensure equal access to safe and effective vaccines for the coronavirus for the nations of the world. COVAX’s mission is to procure and distribute effective drugs among the participating countries in proportion to their population size. In December 2020, the US Congress approved a $ 2 billion contribution to this WHO program.
According to the German government, the richest countries in the world, which are home to 16 percent of the world’s population, have purchased two-thirds of the coronavirus vaccine doses at their disposal. Only 0.5 percent of all vaccinated people in the world are from the poorest countries.
According to the international group of volunteers Worldometer, since the beginning of the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the infection has been detected in over 112 million inhabitants of the planet. More than 2.4 million people have died as a result of the infection. Over 87 million patients have recovered.
Source: DW Russian Service
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