Five million people have already died as a result of Covid-19, and the World Health Organization/Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator (WHO/ACT-A) ominously anticipates that another five million will die in the coming months. Alarmingly, the number of verified Covid-19 cases will increase from 260 million to 460 million by the end of 2022.
The harm caused by Covid-19 has been so severe that when the World Health Assembly (WHA) gathers in a special session, its only purpose is to avoid a repeat of this disaster. The devastation caused by Covid-19 is so extensive that we now need an internationally binding agreement to avoid future breakouts from becoming pandemics.WHO's internationally agreed adult vaccination target for every country is set to be missed by 82 nations, says the writer"/>
According to WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, a new agreement should be based on a high-level commitment to universal health care, built on equality and international solidarity. Not only should all people, regardless of wealth or money, have equal access to what they need for health, but the international community should also assure the equitable use and distribution of existing medical resources. To do this, we need a fully functional worldwide monitoring system, rapid tracking and sharing of assistance during crises, and predictable financing.
Nothing demonstrates the importance of this more than our collective inability as an international society to keep our pledge to ensure equal vaccination distribution. While we will have manufactured 12 billion vaccinations by Christmas — enough to vaccinate every adult on the planet Yet 95 percent of individuals in low-income countries remain unprotected. This is, without a doubt, the worst public policy disaster of our generation.
82 nations are on track to fall short of the WHO's globally agreed adult immunization goal for each country — 40% by December. According to current statistics, it will take at least until Easter to reach 40%, and even then, dozens of nations may miss out. Indeed, since June's G7 summit, at which leaders committed to vaccinate the whole globe by 2022, the divide between vaccine haves and have-nots has increased rather than closed.
While vaccination rates in high-income nations have increased from 40% in June to 60% to 70% presently, they have increased at a glacial pace in low-income countries – from 1% to less than 5%. Indeed, six persons are now getting booster injections in middle- and high-income nations for every adult immunized daily in low- and middle-income countries, while 90 percent of African health professionals remain unprotected.
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