Health Care

World Health Organization sounds alarm on vaccine shortage in poor countries

World Health Organization sounds alarm on vaccine shortage in poor countries”

"The specific vaccines and amounts will be determined and shared as the administration works through the logistical, regulatory and other parameters particular to each region and country".

World Health Organization senior adviser Dr Bruce Aylward said the Covax programme had delivered 90 million doses to 131 countries. As of Monday, the 55 million AstraZeneca doses are still not cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration for safety and efficacy review yet. The White House will be announcing which vaccines will go to which country once they are shipped out.

President Joe Biden has promised that the US will be the vaccine arsenal for the world to help end the pandemic, though poorer countries have pressed the USA and other wealthy nations to do more as they struggle to secure vaccines. The president sketched out his priorities for the first 25 million doses from that pledge earlier this month. "We will move as expeditiously as possible, while abiding by United States and host country regulatory and legal requirements, to facilitate the safe and secure transport of vaccines across global borders", a White House statement said.

The Biden-Harris administration will not use its vaccines to secure favours from other countries, it asserted. The doses will consist of Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines.

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Of the 55 million remaining doses, some 41 million would be shared through COVAX, the White House said, with approximately 14 million going to Latin America and the Caribbean, some 16 million to Asia, and roughly 10 million to Africa. AstraZeneca's vaccine has not been approved by federal regulators, CNN reported.

Among the Asian countries include India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, Cambodia, and the Pacific Islands.

The numbers were compiled Friday by Kyodo News based on data from Gavi, an alliance of governments, worldwide organizations, companies and charities that promote the COVAX program in cooperation with the World Health Organization, as well as from Association of Southeast Asian Nations governments. But with many countries unable to vaccinate even a tiny percentage of their populations, global health officials are pressing the United States to move as quickly as possible to share its vaccine supply.

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