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UN Chief urged to ensure Covid-19 vaccine for ‘all people’

Newsman: Reiterating that the covid-19 vaccines must be viewed as a “global public good”, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “They must be accessible and affordable everywhere for all people.”Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged world leaders to ensure COVID-19 vaccines affordable for “all people” amid mounting concerns stocks could be hovered up by wealthy nations at the expense of poorer ones. The UN secretary general was addressing Germany’s parliament on Friday to mark 75 years since the founding of the UN.

BERLIN, GERMANY – DECEMBER 18: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks to parliamentarians at the Bundestag on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN on December 18, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Guterres has been in Berlin since yesterday, where he is meeting with German leaders on a variety of topics, including the global coronavirus pandemic and Germany’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council. (Photo by Steffi Loos/Getty Images)

Earlier this week the COVAX program report suggested the global scheme to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries faces a “very high” risk of failure, potentially leaving nations home to billions of people with no access to inoculations until as late as 2024. The COVAX program co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) is the main global scheme to vaccinate people in poor and middle-income countries around the world against COVID-19. Rich countries have already booked most of the currently available vaccine stocks.

Reviewing COVAX’s internal documents, Reuter news agency reported – the scheme’s promoters say the program is overwhelmed by a range of issues – including a lack of funds, supply risks and complex contractual arrangements – which could make it impossible to achieve its goals.

“The risk of a failure to establish a successful COVAX Facility is very high,” says an internal report to the board of Gavi, an alliance of governments, drug companies, charities and international organizations that arranges global vaccination campaigns. Gavi co-leads COVAX alongside the WHO.

The failure of the facility could leave people in poor nations without any access to COVID-19 vaccines until 2024, one of the documents says.

However, the COVAX said on Friday it had gained access to nearly two billion doses, roughly doubling its supply, with the first deliveries expected in the first quarter of 2021.

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