Andrea Germanos Health Pandemic

WHO Chief Decries ‘Scandalous’ Vaccine Inequality

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sounded the alarm by declaring rich nations are controlling the "fate of the world."
A health care official holds up a vial of COVID-19 vaccine
A health care worker at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. holds up a vial of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in this Dec. 2020 photo. (DoD photo / Lisa Ferdinando)

By Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams

A day after data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that nearly half of the adult population in the country has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, the head of the World Health Organization on Monday sharply criticized the “scandalous inequity” of global vaccine access and said no single nation can assume it’s safe from the virus until all are.

“Almost 18 months into the defining health crisis of our age, the world remains in a very dangerous situation,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in his opening remarks to the organization’s annual assembly of health ministers. Underscoring the danger, the WHO said in a report last week that the global death toll from COVID-19 is likely two to three times higher than officially reported, claiming the lives of as many as eight million people thus far.

Despite a downtown in COVID-19 cases and deaths over past three weeks, Tedros warned that the situation is still “fragile.”

“No country should assume it is out of the woods,” he said, “no matter its vaccination rate.”

Among the concerns Tedros laid out is that the constantly changing nature of the virus could mean that current vaccines will be ineffective against new variants.

“We must be very clear,” he said. “The pandemic is not over, and it will not be over until and unless transmission is controlled in every last country.”

Key to making that happen is for nations to share vaccines with COVAX, the WHO-led global initiative, said Tedros. Right now, he said, COVAX is facing a “vastly inadequate” supply of doses.

Some wealthy nations like the U.S., meanwhile, have a surplus of vaccine doses.

“The ongoing vaccine crisis is a scandalous inequity that is perpetuating the pandemic,” Tedros said. “More than 75% of all vaccines have been administered in just 10 countries.”

“There is no diplomatic way to say it: A small group of countries that make and buy the majority of the world’s vaccines control[s] the fate of the rest of the world,” he said.

There is simply “not enough supply” globally, which means that “countries that vaccinate children and other low-risk groups now do so at the expense of health workers and high-risk groups in other countries,” said Tedros. “That’s the reality.”

Looking ahead to the WHO’s September goal of having at least 10% of the population of every country vaccinated and its December goal of having at least 30% vaccinated, Tedros said member states must ensure that they urgently direct to COVAX “hundreds of millions more doses.” Vaccine makers must also offer new batches first to COVAX or commit 50% of their volumes to COVAX this year.

Part of the shortage problem was put at the feet of Big Pharma.

“Several manufacturers have said they have capacity to produce vaccines if the originator companies are willing to share licenses, technology, and know-how,” said Tedros. “I find it difficult to understand why this has not happened yet.”

A good effort, by contrast, is the proposal at the World Trade Organization for a temporary waiver of intellectual property protections on coronavirus-related vaccines and technology, he said, and welcomed recent U.S. support for it.

As policymakers plot out COVID-19 recovery plans for a future in which it’s “an evolutionary certainty that there will be another virus with the potential to be more transmissible and more deadly than this one,” Tedros cautioned against “tinkering at the edges,” saying it’s instead “the moment for bold ideas, bold commitment, and bold leadership; for doing things that have never been done before.”

“In fact,” he added, “the only choice we have is between cooperation and insecurity.”

6 comments

  1. And yet, here in the US- people spit on the free offer to get vaccinated. The people that cry foul for healthcare inequality, the ones who reject what the world is on its knees begging for. Such a shame.

  2. This article misleads the readers to think that vaccines are the only way to stop the virus and pits rich nation vs poor nation. Who has the vaccines, or not, really isn’t the issue. There wasn’t any need for the vaccine in the first place. There is a bigger pharma, government and corporate game at play. Scheerpost surely must know this. If not, I’m surprised!
    By law, they can’t have Emergency Use Authorization for vaccines if they admit that there are alternative treatments for COVID. Therefore, Ivermectin and other treatments are eliminated from the narrative. 

    References:
    FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization Guidelines: https://www.fda.gov/media/97321/download

    Bannister, A. 2021. Don’t mention Ivermectin; it’ll upset the vaccine rollout. BizNews, May 12, 2021: https://www.biznews.com/thought-leade

    Dr. Pierre Kory testifies before the Senate, December 15, 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28YV8

    Clip taken from DarkHorse Podcast Livestream #80 (originally streamed live on May 15, 2021): https://youtu.be/vxTODvTNHlw

  3. The Clampdown Masquerade is a lie.
    Watch Dr Peter McCullough; and Dr Pierre Kory
    at FLCCC. Dr Michael Yeadon, Dr Sam Bailey….
    watch Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr at the
    Children’s Defense Fund.
    Read and comprehend the Great Barrington Declaration.
    Watch DeSantis’ March 21,2021 press conference with
    all three Great Barrington Declarants with Dr Scott Atlas.
    PCR is a dial a case false positive machine.

  4. WHO’s #1 financial supporter — America’s ubermensch, Bill Gates — is actively exacerbating vaccine inequality.
    Look how easy it is to add context; just takes one sentence.

  5. Good article. Vaccine equity is the major issue right now. However, I cannot understand why we are not also looking more critically at the origins of COVID. It has killed millions. What if there is a growing body of credible evidence to suggest that it is an engineered virus created under work partly funded by the NIH that escaped from a lab with an abysmal level of safety protocols in place? We are all not going there because Trump and Bannon might have supported a similar hypothesis? Really? The New York Magazine January 4 issue frames the case for a lab release, and the recent article by Nicholas Wade at the website of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists makes an even stronger case, as do articles on the GM Watch website. The reassuring conclusions of the recent WHO fact-finding mission to China are called into question by a letter signed by major virologists in the recent issue of the journal Science. At this point – late as it is – shouldn’t progressive sites begin asking if there has been a massive coverup?

  6. What an absolute crime the WHO and the NIH with their “gain of function” research that created Covid, imposed on the world. Dr Fauci is up to his forehead in it too. I try not to think about it because it inevitably enrages me. To me, a firing squad would be the appropriate punishment and I am a peaceful man.

    How it has been used by those who rule to enrich themselves at the expense of everybody else is also a crime that should have a similar punishment as well.

    I thought myself a cynic but I naively for some reason thought medical research, the WHO, the NIH and the CDC were above the corruption that pervades everything else in this society and world, but I was obviously wrong.

    In fact there isn’t a single aspect of this entirely preventable tragedy that doesn’t absolutely infuriate me. There will be no consequences for those responsible. There will be no consequences for those who profited from it. There will be no consequences for those who used it to further cement their power and control over the people either. The only consequences are for those who contract this virus and die from it’s embrace.

    My final condemnation is directed at the people who have and will continue to be used and abused, lied too and gaslighted, and who still even now have allowed their thinking to be subcontracted to others.
    You would think that the cognitive dissonance between what they hear and what they see would be enough to shake them out of their stupor….but apparently not.

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