World Health Organization continues to discuss inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines

While the U.S. supported waving intellectual property, vaccine manufacturers have insisted that it is not possible to ramp up production in time, and their existing capacity remains the best way out of the pandemic.

Video Transcript

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: The World Health Organization has been sounding the alarm on the inequitable distribution of vaccines since before one was even authorized.

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TEDROS ADHANOM: The urgency with which vaccines have been developed must be matched by the same urgency to distribute them fairly.

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Vaccine nationalism hurts us all and is self-defeating. The inequitable distribution of vaccines remains the biggest threat to ending the pandemic and driving a global recovery. The inequitable distribution of vaccines is not just a moral outrage. It's also economically and epidemiologically self-defeating.

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On average in high-income countries, almost one in four people has received a vaccine. In low-income countries, it's 1 in more than 500, one in four versus 1 in 500. There remains a shocking imbalance in the global distribution of vaccines. The inequitable distribution of vaccines has allowed the virus to continue spreading, increasing the chances of a variant emerging that renders vaccines less effective. Inequitable vaccination is a threat to all nations, not just those with the fewest vaccines.

- Last factor that's challenging us right now is the inequitable and uneven distribution of vaccine.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Nearly two years later, the problem remains unresolved. And while countries are slowly starting to get access to vaccines, the stark inequality remains an obstacle to ending the pandemic globally.

TEDROS ADHANOM: The longer vaccine inequity persists, the more the virus will keep circulating and changing, the longer the social and economic disruption will continue.

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