United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called on all stakeholders to help the World Health Organization (WHO)'s 2022 Global COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy become a reality, AzVision.az reports citing Xinhua.
Speaking at a virtual joint press conference of the UN chief and WHO's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Guterres said that he is "pleased to join Dr. Tedros today" to launch the strategy.
To turn the strategy into a reality, Guterres urged all global stakeholders "to step up, mobilize their resources."
"With vaccine production now at nearly 1.5 billion doses per month, we can reach 40 percent of people in all countries by year's end -- if we can mobilize some 8 billion U.S. dollars to ensure that distribution is equitable," said the secretary-general.
Guterres underscored that "the success of this plan requires equitable distribution. Without a coordinated, equitable approach, a reduction of cases in any one country will not be sustained over time."
"For everyone's sake, we must urgently bring all countries to a high level of vaccination coverage," he said.
The secretary-general said that the strategy "is based on a thorough scientific analysis of the evolving pandemic; the effectiveness of vaccines; the cost of procuring and delivering them; and global demand and supply."
"Through dose sharing, swaps, technology transfers and other priority actions, it is possible to reduce deaths and minimize suffering, prevent health systems from being overwhelmed, resume social and economic activities, and reduce the risk of dangerous new variants," he said, adding that "this is a costed, coordinated and credible path out of the COVID-19 pandemic for everyone, everywhere."
WHO on Thursday launched the strategy to help bring an end to what has become a two-track pandemic: people in poorer countries continue to be at risk while those in richer countries with high vaccination rates enjoy much greater protection.
WHO had set a target to vaccinate 10 percent of every country, economy and territory by the end of September but by that date 56 countries had not been able to do so. The vast majority of these are countries in Africa and the Middle East.
The new strategy outlines a plan for achieving WHO's targets to vaccinate 40 percent of the population of every country by the end of this year and 70 percent by mid-2022.