COVAX: ‘We can’t deliver vaccines we don’t have’ – WHO Press Conference (26 March 2021)
“Bilateral deals, export bans, vaccine nationalism and vaccine diplomacy have caused distortions in the market, with gross inequities in supply and demand,” the WHO chief, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said on Friday and asked those “countries with doses of vaccines that have WHO Emergency Use Listing to donate as many doses as they can to help us meet that target.”
“COVAX is ready to deliver, but we can’t deliver vaccines we don’t have,” Dr Tedros sad. “Increased demand for vaccines has led to delays in securing tens of millions of doses that COVAX was counting on.”
WHO’s chief did recognize that “sharing doses is a tough political choice, and governments need the support of their people,” but has underlined that “COVAX needs 10 million doses immediately as an urgent stop-gap measure.”
Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical Lead of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme said “we are still in the acute phase of this pandemic where in many parts of the world, the virus is still in control of our lives.”
“Some countries have actually shown that we can control COVID with the tools at hand with the addition of vaccination. But in fact, some countries have actually controlled COVID without vaccination, yet,” Dr Kerkhove said.