The WHO on Tuesday urged world leaders attending the UNGA’s 76th session to promote equal access to COVID-19 vaccines and other life-saving technology.
This would strengthen global pandemic preparedness and restart efforts to meet the SDGs (SDGs).
The UN agency added that, nearly 5 million people have died as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, which is still spreading across the globe.
Vaccines are the most important instrument for ending the pandemic and saving lives and property.
Globally, more than 5.7 billion vaccination doses have been provided, although only ten nations account for 73% of all doses.
In comparison to low-income countries, high-income countries have given out 61 times more dosages per person.
The longer vaccination inequities exists, the more the virus will circulate and evolve, and the greater the social and economic upheaval.
By the end of this year, WHO hopes to have vaccinated at least 40% of each country’s population, and 70% by the middle of next year.
If countries and producers show a genuine commitment to vaccine fairness, these goals can be achieved.
WHO is urging countries to fulfill their dose-sharing commitments as soon as possible, and to swap their near-term vaccine deliveries with COVAX and AVAT (African COVID-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team). WHO is also urging manufacturers to prioritize supplies to COVAX and partners, as well as for countries and manufacturers to facilitate the sharing of technology, know-how, and intellectual property to support a rapid response.
While governments work to end this pandemic, the rest of the globe must prepare for future pandemics and other health emergencies.
COVID-19 caught the globe – especially wealthy countries – off guard with such a rapid and large-scale outbreak.
It disproportionately impacted vulnerable people, exacerbating inequities.
WHO advises all countries to break the cycle of “panic and neglect” that has occurred in the aftermath of prior health crises by allocating enough financial resources and political commitment to improving global health disaster preparedness.
UHC is a cornerstone of global health security.
Despite recent advances in UHC, 90 percent of countries have experienced disruptions in key health services as a result of the pandemic, with ramifications far beyond the health sector.
Not only is serious investment in universal health coverage and pandemic preparedness required to strengthen global health security, but it is also necessary to re-establish the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
The pandemic has halted progress toward the SDGs, including improvements in poverty eradication, gender equality, communicable disease vaccination, and girls’ and boys’ education.
But technology is also giving the world new possibilities to do things differently and actually work on making the world a better place — toward a healthier, fairer, more inclusive, and sustainable world.
WHO is urging world leaders to grasp the moment and commit to concerted action, enough resources, and solidarity in order to build a brighter future for people and the planet at the UNGA this week.