The World Health Organisation today marks vaccine equity, 100 days into 2021.
In January 2021, WHO issued a call to all countries to work together in solidarity – and in each of their best interests – to ensure that within the first 100 days of this year, vaccination of health workers and older people would be underway in all countries.
This call to action is at the heart of WHO’s campaign for vaccine equity, which aims to overcome the pandemic and the inequalities that lie at the root of so many global health challenges, as well as drive a global recovery.
By day 100, tens of thousands of individuals and nearly 1,500 organisations around the world signed the #VaccinEquity Declaration. Over half a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered worldwide, with over 38 million COVAX doses shipped to more than 100 countries and economies.
However, a lack of supply and inequitable distribution of vaccines still remains the biggest threat to ending the acute stage of this pandemic and driving a global recovery.
The WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in personal emails addressed to each supporter of vaccine equity on Monday, wrote:
My sincerest thanks for all you have done to support #VaccinEquity in the first 100 days of 2021.
By calling for access to COVID-19 vaccines for health workers and those at high risk everywhere, you have helped to drive WHO’s work with partners, governments and industry to get them distributed equitably across the world.
In just 100 days:
- 700 million vaccine doses have been administered in 194 economies
- COVAX has sent 38 million doses to 100 economies
- 1,500 organisations and tens of thousands of people from 178 countries have signed the
- Vaccine Equity Declaration, demonstrating truly global support for this cause
The world remains in a race against time to build a sustainable vaccine supply and share it equitably. In most countries, vaccine supplies remain very limited. To date, 87% of vaccines supplies have gone to high-income or upper middle-income countries, while low-income countries have received just 0.2 percent.
Ending the pandemic will require an even greater scaling up of global production and delivery of vaccines. None of us are safe until everyone is.
In the next 100 days, we want to see all essential workers and higher-risk individuals in every country vaccinated against COVID-19. It’s an ambitious target but when we work together as a global community, we can meet – and even exceed – expectations.
The DG urged governments and industry to collaborate to expand and accelerate production and to support the ACT-Accelerator and COVID-19 Technology Access Pool.
Continuing, the WHO chief said, “Later this month, individuals around the world will also be able to get involved in accelerating vaccine equity via a new fundraising campaign.”
Developed by the WHO Foundation and a range of partners, the campaign will enable individuals and companies to help close the global COVID-19 vaccine gap by choosing to “Get One, Give One”.
Further updates will be shared soon, he said.
Concluding, Dr. Ghebreyesus said, “Once again, thank you for the support, enthusiasm and dedication you have shown towards achieving #VaccinEquity.
I can’t wait to work with you on the second phase of the campaign.”