At a briefing from its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also urged high-income countries to step up and donate vaccines to less-wealthy nations.
He said, “Even if we have the funds, we can only deliver vaccines to poorer countries if high-income countries cooperate in respecting the deals COVAX has done and the new deals it is doing. This is not a matter of charity; it is a matter of epidemiology.”
WHO helps run the so-called “COVAX Facility” that aims to provide equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines.
America’s Dr. Anthony Fauci joined the WHO briefing Monday, urging countries to develop their own vaccine production facilities to reduce the need for donated doses.
Fauci said, “For the future as well as in the intermediate time, to have countries, like South Africa and other southern Africa countries, to have the capability to make their own vaccines, so that they would be independent of having to rely on the donation of vaccines from other countries. And I think it goes not only for South Africa, but so many other countries that had given the resources and the capabilities would really be quite capable of making vaccine to take care of their own population.”
The WHO also urged countries to stop making their own deals with vaccine manufacturers that “reduce the number of doses COVAX can buy.”