The World Health Organization on Monday blasted wealthy countries for not only hogging Covid vaccines but in doing so, hindering the pathway for poorer nations to get them too.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said some rich countries’ direct deals with manufacturers had meant that previously-agreed vaccine allocations for poorer countries, via the Covax programme, were being reduced.
The UN health agency chief said the money was there to procure doses for some of the poorest countries, following fresh contributions from the United States, the European Union and Germany — but it was worthless if there was nothing to buy.
Tedros urged wealthy nations to start checking first as to whether their own deals with pharmaceutical companies were undermining Covax, which poorer countries are relying on as they await their first doses.
“Even if you have the money, if you cannot use the money to buy vaccines, having the money doesn’t mean anything,” he told a virtual press conference with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.