The World Health Organization (WHO) chief has urged countries considering vaccinating children and adolescents to instead give their doses to the COVAX initiative aimed at equitable access to jabs.
“I understand why some countries want to vaccinate their children and adolescents. But right now, I urge them to reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to COVAX,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus at a twice-weekly webinar on COVID-19.
“Because in low and lower middle income countries, vaccine supply has not been enough even to immunize health and care workers and hospitals are being inundated with people that need life-saving care, urgently,” said Tedros.
COVAX or COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to pandemic vaccines directed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the WHO.
“At present, only 0.3% of vaccine supply is going to low-income countries,” said the WHO chief.
“Trickle-down vaccination is not an effective strategy for fighting a deadly respiratory virus.”
Wealthier nations should postpone plans to give children and teenagers Covid vaccines and instead donate supplies to low-income countries, the head of the World Health Organization said.
Countries such as the United States and Canada have already planned to dole out the vaccine to 12- to 15-year-olds, while in Switzerland, some places began offering Covid vaccination appointments to 16-year-olds a week ago.
WHO, in a report, said there were almost 3.34 million deaths and more than 161 million cases of COVID-19 with more than 1.26 billion vaccine doses administered.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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