Commerce Minister: Saudi-Iraqi relations are at their best, Coordination Council solidifies trust and opens new cooperation horizons    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index Ends Trading Lower at 12,139.83 Points    International Conference on "eLearning for Human Capability Development" to Commence Tomorrow    Thailand Prime Minister to Visit Saudi Arabia this Week in Response to Invitation of HRH Crown Prince    Advanced Electronics Company to Participate in IKTVA 2022 Forum and Exhibition    Ministry of Health Reports 4,535 New COVID-19 Cases, 5,072 Recoveries in Saudi Arabia    Magnitude 5.8 Earthquake Strikes Chinese Province of Qinghai    Egypt Records 1569 New Cases of COVID-19    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Condoles Brazilian President on Death of his Mother    New Zealand to Impose Restrictions After Omicron Community Spread    French President Makes Phone Call to Tunisian Counterpart    Saudi Handball Team Loses to Qatar in Main Round of 2022 Asian Men's Handball Championship    Al-Zamil: Forum represents great importance in enhancing KSA's industrial position    UAE stops drone flying operations    From Milan to Glasgow, young Moroccans commit to fighting climate change    Kingdom chairs meeting of aviation security experts group    Eighth Season of ABB FIA Formula E World Championship to kick off in Diriyah    Bocelli performs in AlUla in third Winter at Tantora    Women's presence in Saudi cybersecurity sector reaches 45%    RCU launches first autonomous electric pod in AlUla    Recoveries keep pace with new COVID-19 cases in KSA as numbers stay below 5,000–mark    Pope Francis pledges justice for abuse victims after report faults Benedict XVI    3.5 million students return to in-person classes on Sunday    Al-Jadaan: Flexible and measured approach in green, sustainable global economy is required    700 women footballers vie for a place in first-ever national team Jeddah hosts Green Ladies' first training camp    Six-time champion Al-Attiyah heads impressive field for Oman Rally Czech duo of Petr Kačirek and Václav Kopáček make first Oman appearance    Brazil to stop unvaccinated footballers playing in top leagues    Saudi Arabia arrests 13,780 illegals in a week    Houthi' allegations of Coalition targeted a detention center in Saada is incorrect: Brig. Gen. Al-Maliki The media reports marketed by Houthi militia reflects its usual misleading approach    20th Asian Handball Championship Main Round to Kick off Tomorrow    Yanbu Education wins two awards for distinguished academic performance in GCC    Tearful Adele postpones entire Las Vegas residency    'Bat Out Of Hell' singer Meat Loaf dies at 74    Mohammed Abdu honored in a unique, grandeur style Winning second Guinness certificate; Turki Al-Sheikh surprises him with presence on stage    Riyadh's Qualitative Events Enrich its Winter, Attract World Attention    GASTAT: Real estate prices rise by 0.9% in Q4 of 2021    22 Drivers from 11 Countries to Race for Glory at 2022 Diriyah E-Prix from January 28, 2022    SFDA: Fat is a Source of Energy and Its Abundance is Linked to Chronic Diseases    Reflections on celebration of Christmas    Royal Commission for AlUla to Hold Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup 2022, Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo    Saudi Arabia's Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai Organizes a Dance Theatrical Show for Children    Saudi Arabia rebuffs UN resolution on 'sexual orientation'    Kabir Khan eyes on joint Indian – Saudi film projects    Bollywood superstar Salman Khan to dazzle Riyadh Season on Dec. 10    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



COVID-19 vaccine booster doses as Delta variant rips around the world shows 'disappointing inequality': WHO
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 12 - 07 - 2021

The COVID-19 Delta variant is traveling around the world at a "scorching pace" driving a new spike in cases and deaths, but it's exposing a 'hugely uneven and inequitable' global gap in vaccine supply, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.
"We're in the midst of a growing two-track pandemic where the haves and have-nots within and between countries are increasingly divergent," underscored Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus.
He explained that although the Delta variant was spreading quickly in places with high vaccination coverage, in countries with low vaccination coverage, the situation is particularly bad.
"Delta and other highly transmissible variants are driving catastrophic waves of cases, which are translating into high numbers of hospitalizations and death. Even countries that successfully managed to ward off the early waves of the virus through public health measures alone, are now in the midst of devastating outbreaks," he said.
He added that in low-income countries, exhausted health workers are battling to save lives among shortages of personal protective equipment, oxygen and treatments.
Delta is present in more than 104 countries and WHO expects it to be the dominant COVID-19 strain circulating worldwide very soon.
Pandemic 'not over, anywhere'
Tedros explained that vaccines have never been the way out of the crisis on their own, but the current wave is demonstrating what a "powerful tool they are".
"We are experiencing a worsening public health emergency that further threatens lives, livelihoods and a sound global economic recovery. It is definitely worse in places that have very few vaccines, but the pandemic is not over, anywhere," he highlighted.
Using a metaphor of a forest ablaze, he reiterated that the world needs to put out the "pandemic inferno" in a united fashion, because hosing down just a part of it will reduce the flames in one area, but while it's smoldering everywhere, "sparks will eventually travel and grow again into a roaring furnace".
Vaccinate the most vulnerable
The WHO's head reiterated that the global gap in vaccine supply is hugely uneven and inequitable.
"Some countries and regions are actually ordering millions of booster doses before other countries have had supplies to vaccinate their health workers and most vulnerable", he said.
He added that data shows that vaccination offers long lasting immunity against severe and deadly COVID-19, and instead of Moderna and Pfizer prioritizing the supply of vaccines as boosters to countries whose populations have relatively high coverage, he needed them 'to go all out' to channel supply to the COVAX global initiative, the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, and low-middle income countries.
While Tedros recognized that tens of millions of donations of shots are starting to come through, he said that they needed to come faster, through an "all-out, no regrets accelerated building up of new vaccine manufacturing hubs".
Calling it "enlightened self-interest" he said that when a country shares vaccines, it is actually helping itself. "The whole world is sick and tired, and everyone wants to open up, and ending the pandemic is key... when we have a pandemic everywhere, the virus will continue to circulate".
He also said it was "extremely disappointing" to see countries that had vaccinated most of their population with two doses, thinking about a third. "It actually makes no sense", he underscored.
Tedros also explained that vaccine sharing does not necessarily mean giving vaccines for free. "I have a list of countries that say they have money, they can pay, but there are no vaccines...The world has the means to increase production quickly, what we lack is global leadership," he added.
Pharmaceuticals must share licenses
The WHO Director-General said that pharmaceutical companies must share their licenses, know-how and technology.
"Do what AstraZeneca is doing" he said, which started in Europe but has production in India, Korea, Australia and Japan, with more expansion planned, explaining that this gives COVAX the green light to buy vaccines from additional facilities.
He reminded that thousands of people are still dying every day, and that currently, solidarity is not working because of "greed".
"Countries vaccinating their population are starting to say, 'we have managed to control this, so it is not our problem'. But I am not so sure they are out of the woods; I don't think they are in control because of the Delta strain and others that may evolve...They ignore the rest of the world and give the virus a chance of circulating," he warned.
Tedros said there cannot be more talk about vaccinating low income countries in 2023 while there are the tools to help them now.
"We are saying it again and again and we need a listening ear. This is for your own sake and nobody is out of the woods yet. For those with the means, it is in our hands. We can end it very soon, because we have the tools," he underscored.
Vaccines still working
Ann Lindstrand, WHO Covax co-lead, explained that currently there isn't enough evidence pointing to a need for booster doses.
"If you have a full course of vaccination of any of the WHO approved vaccines, you have a good protection," she explained.
WHO Chief scientist, Dr. Soumiya Swaminathan, also said that while there has been an increase of infections in vaccinated populations, there has not been more hospitalizations.
"There are reports coming in that vaccinated population are having cases of infection particularly Delta, but the majority of them are mild. The people in the hospitals are unvaccinated," she explained.
Swaminathan reminded that decisions about booster doses should be made based on data, and not "on companies saying we need a third dose". — UN News


Clic here to read the story from its source.