Vaccines have brought hope amid the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 2.4 million people and brought world economies to a halt. Vaccines have been presented as a remedy that would put an end to the immense suffering – physical, emotional, and economic – caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
If deployment of the vaccine continues at the present rate, only a few of the world’s richest countries are expected to achieve herd immunity before the end of the summer.
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, thanked the G7 countries for their pledges to provide $7.5 billion to support “affordable and equitable access to vaccines” and treatments for COVID-19.
But he said that “even if you have the money, if you cannot use the money to buy vaccines … having the money doesn’t mean anything”. He said some rich countries’ approaches to manufacturers to secure more vaccines are “affecting the deals with COVAX, and even the amount that was allocated for COVAX was reduced because of this”.