News ID: 301869
Published: 0134 GMT April 05, 2021

UN chief warns over vaccine hoarding in wealthier countries

UN chief warns over vaccine hoarding in wealthier countries

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that if the dangerous trend of vaccine nationalism and hoarding in wealthier countries continues, it could delay a global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We must ensure that vaccines are available & affordable to all as soon as possible”, Guterres said in a message posted on his Twitter account.

“No element of the global #COVID19 response is going as it should - from the vaccine production & distribution, to support for developing economies”, he said in another Twitter message.

In February, Guterres said that just 10 countries have administered 75% of the world's available COVID-19 vaccine supply, while more than 130 countries haven't even received their first doses, according to CNN.

It's unfair, Guterres said, that so few countries should control the bulk of the world's vaccine supplies. To address that inequity, the secretary-general proposed that members of G20 create an emergency task force to promote global vaccine access.

"At this critical moment, vaccine equity is the biggest moral test before the global community," he said in a virtual meeting with the UN Security Council on February 17.

Around 188 million vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, according to the digital database Our World in Data. Tens of millions of those doses have gone to the United States, China, the United Kingdom and Israel.

Guterres didn't name the 10 countries that have administered three-quarters of all COVID-19 vaccines. But the US is certainly among them.

In January, Guterres urged countries to commit to sharing excess vaccine doses, specifically calling out the richest countries in the world that have received millions of doses.

"The world's leading economies have a special responsibility. Yet today we are seeing a vaccine vacuum. Vaccines are reaching high income countries quickly, while the world's poorest have none at all," Guterres said in a video message last month.


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