Purchases by rich countries worsen vaccine shortage in Latin America, WHO says

The UN-backed immunization program will not meet its target of delivering doses to Latin America and the Caribbean this year, in part be...

The UN-backed immunization program will not meet its target of delivering doses to Latin America and the Caribbean this year, in part because wealthy countries that pay more for vaccines buy most of the money. supply, a World Health Organization official said on Wednesday. .

The global Covax program, the main source of Covid vaccines for most of the world, aimed to deliver enough doses this year to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to inoculate 20% of their population. But most countries only received about 30% of the supplies they contracted through Covax, said Dr Jarbas Barbosa, deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization, a division of the WHO. .

“Producers are not prioritizing delivery to the Covax mechanism,” Dr Barbosa said at a press conference. “They continue to prioritize the bilateral deals they have because in those bilateral deals the vaccines are more expensive.”

Rich countries have led the rest of the world in terms of vaccination rates and continue to buy doses as the demand for boosters increases. The WHO said last week that only nine of the 54 African countries had reached the goal of immunizing 10 percent of their population by the end of September.

India’s ban on the export of vaccines has helped delay vaccine delivery to other parts of the world. India, the world’s largest drug producer, imposed the ban in May as it lagged behind national immunization, but recently said that with increased production and acceleration of its own vaccination program, it would lift the embargo this month.

Covax is focused on delivering vaccines to countries that have so far vaccinated less than 10 percent of their population. In the Americas, this includes Jamaica, Nicaragua, and Haiti.

As the Covax program falters, the Pan American Health Organization has made separate agreements to purchase millions of doses of the vaccine from Chinese companies Sinopharm and Sinovac, as well as AstraZeneca. But these agreements are still far from meeting the needs.

About 37 percent of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean has been fully immunized, but access in the region has been very uneven; Cuba, Chile and Uruguay are among the most vaccinated countries in the world.

“We continue to urge countries with excess doses to share them with countries in our region, where they can have a life-saving impact,” said Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, Director of PAHO.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Purchases by rich countries worsen vaccine shortage in Latin America, WHO says
Purchases by rich countries worsen vaccine shortage in Latin America, WHO says
Newsrust - US Top News
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