“The poorest countries’ lack of access to COVID-19 vaccines is tragic”: IMF’s Gita Gopinath

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IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath has said that vaccine inequality – or poor countries’ lack of access to Covid vaccines – amid the growing Omicron threat is tragic. Gopinath, speaking to NDTV, explained the marked difference in vaccination rates between the two and the impact it has on the world.

Gopinath stressed the need for manufacturers and developed countries – especially those that had promised doses of the vaccine to less fortunate countries – to prioritize such deliveries.

“Vaccine inequity is tragic. We are at the end of 2021, with high-income countries having vaccinated 70% of their population and low-income countries less than 4%. The goal was to vaccinate 40% of the population in each country by the end of this year … 80 countries will not reach that bar. For the vast majority, it’s because they don’t have enough doses, ”she said.

“For example, COVAX contracts with manufacturers … only 18% of doses were delivered. They did not prioritize deliveries. Dose donations pledged by high-income countries were 1.5 billion … only 300 million have been delivered so far, “Gopinath told NDTV.

“We need to prioritize vaccine deliveries. There is also a high demand for booster doses (fueled by the spread of the more infectious and vaccine-resistant Omicron variant) fearing that this could (again affect) supplies to low-income countries. income, ”she said. said, as she called on developed countries to refrain from restricting the export of vaccines and medical equipment.

The COVAX program is a global vaccine-sharing initiative launched by the United Nations and its partners that aims to deliver doses to more than 90 middle and low-income countries.

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Posted on: Thursday December 16, 2021 11:20 am IST


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