COVID-19: WHO Partners With Vaccine Manufacturers To Expand Worldwide Production
The World Health Organization (WHO) is urging for a fair and equitable sharing of global resources as it is working with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to expand worldwide vaccine production as only one percent of the 100 million doses administered last week went to lowest-income countries.
This was disclosed by Bruce Aylward, senior advisor to the WHO director-general on organizational change, at a press conference. He said close to “99 million doses of vaccines last week went into high- and upper-middle-income and some low- and middle-income countries, but only one percent of that went to the lowest-income countries.
“The world has the means to bring the global COVID-19 pandemic under control in the coming months,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
Aylward said it will “take weeks and months” to increase vaccine supplies and “in the meantime, we’ve got to take some urgent and important decisions about how we are going to use the vaccines that exist today.”
New COVID-19 infections worldwide have increased for the eighth week running, with a record 5.2 million cases reported last week and an alarming growth rate in young people, the WHO said on Monday.
Deaths also rose for the fifth straight week, pushing the global death toll to over three million, Tedros said.
The pandemic has been gathering pace recently, according to WHO’s numbers. “It took nine months to reach one million deaths; four months to reach two million, and three months to reach three million,” the WHO chief said.
Meanwhile, infections and hospitalizations among people aged 25 to 59 are increasing at an alarming rate, he said, possibly as a result of highly transmissible variants and increased social mixing among younger adults.