The WHO acknowledges that the COVAX mechanism faces serious problems in fulfilling the task of bringing the COVID-19 vaccine to poor and rich countries.
Mexico City (apro). -The World Health Organization (WHO) today acknowledged that the COVAX mechanism faces serious problems in fulfilling its task of bringing the covid-19 vaccine to poor and rich countries because they know that vaccination is a key part of the response to ending the pandemic.
In a statement, the agency outlined five major challenges facing COVAX and how to overcome them.
In October last year, UNICEF announced that by the end of 2020, there will be more than 500 million syringes in its warehouse as part of future preparations for the covid-19 vaccine. With the establishment of export controls in syringe producing countries, soaring prices and limited supplies, this preventive measure paid off.
At the same time, several countries have imposed controls on the export of vaccines. This decision has triggered a warning from the WHO on the so-called “vaccine nationalism”, which encourages its accumulation and raises prices, which will eventually only prolong the flu pandemic. Popular time. , Including its necessary limitations and human and economic suffering.
Being able to inject a dose involves the establishment of a complex global supply chain, which includes everything from the components needed to produce vaccines to bottles, plastic bottle caps and syringes. Therefore, prohibiting or controlling the export of any of these products may result in a severe interruption of immune distribution.
Multiple formulas applied to export control may limit its supply. As a result, if the poorest countries succeed in producing vaccines, they will have a greater chance to protect their citizens.
As COVAX Chief Communications Officer Diane Abad-Vergara said, this is part of WHO’s support for countries in their efforts to acquire and maintain vaccine technology and production capacity.
Through initiatives such as the Network of Vaccine Manufacturers in Developing Countries, they are helping to build more manufacturing bases, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America, which are critical to meeting current demand for covid-19 enhancers and future vaccines. Important. Expanding production on a global scale will enable poor countries to reduce their dependence on donations from rich countries,” he said.
Although all countries/regions participating in the COVAX mechanism have the necessary infrastructure to unload vaccine pallets from cargo planes and transport them to cold storage warehouses, the next steps may be more complicated.
UNICEF COVAX Global Coordinator Gian Gandhi said: “Ghana is the first country to receive COVAX doses and has a good record of dose distribution, but other countries, such as French-speaking West African countries, are collecting necessary resources. Difficulties are encountered. The doses are distributed throughout the territory and the cities and towns where they are needed. This means that in many of the poorest countries, most of the doses are distributed in large urban centers.
Ghandi said the goal is to ensure that no one has no vaccines. “However, in the short term, the concentration of doses in cities can give priority to the vaccination of health workers and other frontline workers in urban areas. Population density puts them at greater risk of exposure. ”
Expediting the transportation and delivery of vaccines from urban warehouses to remote areas requires funding. Abad-Vergara said: “In response to the pandemic, funding has always been the focus of attention.”
“To continue to provide vaccines to its 190 members in 2021, COVAX needs at least US$3.2 billion. The sooner this goal is achieved, the sooner the vaccine can be administered.”
Donations from various countries, especially those from the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States, have largely made up the funding gap for immunization. However, the funding problem for providing these vaccines is even greater.
UNICEF estimates that an additional US$2 billion is needed to help the 92 poorest countries. The basic expenses in these countries include refrigerators, training of health personnel, vaccinators’ costs, and fuel for refrigerated trucks. Therefore, it requires donors to immediately allocate US$510 million as part of the humanitarian appeal to meet urgent needs.
COVAX directly competes with countries that have bilateral direct deals with pharmaceutical companies, which puts additional pressure on the existing covid-19 vaccine supply. Conversely, rich countries have large surpluses.