WHO warns against rich nations hoarding jabs to fight Omicron

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The major problem for the international dose-sharing program, the WHO says, is wealthy countries donating COVID-19 vaccines with short shelf lives.

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World Health Organization officials (WHO) have warned that wealthy countries could start hoarding COVID-19 vaccines again, threatening global supplies as they shore up stocks to fight the new Omicron version of the coronavirus. want to do.

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The comments on Thursday by the agency’s vaccine director, Kate O’Brien, come as a supply of an international dose-sharing program run by the WHO and vaccine charity GAVI has led over the past few months to donations from wealthy countries and India. increased after easing. Limits on Export of Vaccines

New Delhi’s move means Serum Institute of India has resumed shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine, mainly for the program known as COVAX.

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“We have to make sure that [higher shipments] continues,” O’Brien said at a briefing.

“As we move to Omicron’s position, there is a risk that the global supply is again going to be hoarding vaccines in high-income countries” as they seek to protect their ability to vaccinate their citizens, he said. Said later.

O’Brien also noted that a major problem for COVAX is wealthy countries donating COVID-19 vaccines with relatively short shelf lives, while noting that some wealthy countries had even higher wastage rates.

According to GAVI, COVAX has shipped 610 million doses of vaccines to 144 countries or territories since February.

Meanwhile, John Nkengsong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said African governments “will have no choice” but to fight COVID-19 if their citizens do not hurry to get the doses available. Take advantage of the 19 Vaccine Mandate.

The flow of doses to countries across the continent has increased, but vaccine hesitation and the short shelf lives of some charities have created new pressures.

“We don’t need to get there if we just do the right thing,” Nkengsong said of the vaccine mandate. He called the lack of interest in the vaccine “extremely unfortunate” after African officials fought for months against a dramatic vaccine disparity between their nations and wealthy people around the world.

Africa remains the world’s least vaccinated continent against COVID-19, with less than 8 percent of its population completely locked down.

WHO vaccination official Richard Mihigo told reporters that only six African countries have met the global target of vaccinating 40 percent of their population against COVID-19 by the end of this year, and “this is only dangerous and is unstable.”

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