LONDON (AP) – What is being done to distribute COVID-19 vaccines globally?
Several groups are working to bring vaccines to poor countries, but they are falling too short of what it takes to curb outbreaks around the world.
Among the efforts is COVAX, which relies on donations from rich countries and private funders. The group has lost its own distribution goals in large part because it did not have the resources to ensure the supply of vaccines at the beginning of the pandemic.
As of mid-August, COVAX has distributed about 207 million doses to 138 countries and territories. That compares with more than 417 million doses distributed in the US alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
COVAX It was created last year to try to ensure that vaccines are distributed fairly and is run by public health agencies, including the World Health Organization. Without enough purchased vaccines, COVAX now relies on donated injections from rich countries, but most of the promised doses will not be delivered this year.
Logistics is another problem. To obtain COVAX vaccines, countries must show how they will distribute the vaccines and prioritize people at high risk, such as healthcare workers and the elderly. But some countries in desperate need of vaccines have not been able to demonstrate that they can carry out such plans and lack the funds to carry out immunization campaigns.
Other groups have been stepping in to help. In July, the African Union said it purchased 400 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson injection for 45 African countries. China, Russia and the United States have donated millions of vaccines to countries. And in June, major industrial nations known as the Group of Seven said they would donate 1 billion doses to poor countries. The G-7 countries are Great Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.
Still, that’s well below the 11 billion doses the WHO says are necessary to stop the pandemic.
“We are making conscious decisions at this time not to protect those in need,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.