Five member states of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) alone will account for three-quarters of all the international output of COVID-19 vaccines this yr, mentioned Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Wednesday.
“Production remains highly centralised – about 75 per cent of this year’s vaccines appear set to come from five WTO members – China, India, Germany, the United States, and France,” the WTO Director-General mentioned at a high-level dialogue on “Expanding COVID-19 vaccine manufacture to promote equitable access.”
Okonjo-Iweala mentioned discriminatory entry to vaccines is a root explanation for the unequal restoration of the worldwide economic system, during which developed economies are rebounding shortly whereas the remaining are lagging behind.
The lack of full transparency in vaccine provide offers is another excuse for concern, she mentioned because the world administered worldwide 1.1 billion COVID vaccine doses in June.
“Of those 1.1 billion doses in June, only 1.4 per cent went to Africans, who account for 17 per cent of the global population. Only 0.24 per cent went to people in low-income countries. And both shares declined even further in the first half of July,” she mentioned.
“In developed countries, 94 doses have been administered for every 100 residents. In Africa, the figure is 4.5 per cent. In low-income countries, it”s 1.6 per cent. In Africa, only 20 million people, or 1.5 per cent of the population, are fully vaccinated, compared to 42 per cent of people in developed countries. We cannot accept this, for moral, practical, and economic reasons.”