75% vaccine under control of 10 countries: UN
Published: 02:50 PM, 18 February 2021
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says only 10 countries are using 75 percent of the world’s coronavirus vaccines.
He told a high-level Security Council meeting on Wednesday that “130 countries” had not yet received a single dose of the vaccine.
Describing the situation as “gravely unfair and injustice”, he said, “At this critical juncture, maintaining the equality of vaccines is the biggest moral test of the international community.”
Guterres called for a plan to implement a global vaccine on an urgent basis with stakeholders to ensure a fair distribution of the vaccine in all countries. This will include scientists, vaccine manufacturers and donors.
The UN Secretary-General has called for the formation of an emergency task force of the world’s top economic powers in the G20. This task force will bring together pharmaceuticals companies, key industries and organizations.
At a meeting last Friday, Guterres said the G-7 alliance of the top seven economic powers could bring together the necessary sources of economic supplies.
On Tuesday, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said at the Security Council meeting, “Mexico would emphasize the importance of distributing vaccines to all countries.”
He criticized the high vaccination rate in the countries where the vaccine is being produced, while South American countries are struggling to get the vaccine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to buy and supply vaccines to the world’s poorest countries. The organization has already failed to achieve the goal of starting vaccination activities in this initiative called COVAX.
In recent weeks, several developing countries have privately signed agreements to buy the vaccine, rather than hoping for COVAX.