World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday criticised drug makers' profits and vaccine inequalities, saying it's "not right" that younger, healthier adults in wealthy countries get vaccinated against COVID-19 before older people or healthcare workers in poorer countries.
In an epidemiological update provided to the WHO's exective board meeting, he added that the Americas region accounted for about 47 percent of current deaths.
The level of antibodies that the Pfizer-developed Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine produces is higher than that found in those who contracted the virus and their bodies produced it naturally, the Israeli Health Ministry has found.
"Currently our epidemiological situation is dynamic and uneven, it's further complicated by variants", he told the board.
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the prospects for equitable distribution are at "serious risk" just as its vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX aims to start distributing inoculations next month.
The WHO-backed COVAX program is an global and cooperative project aimed at ensuring that the inhabitants of poor countries receive vaccines.
"Vaccines are the shot in the arm we all need, literally and figuratively", Tedros said.
According to a report from Reuters, this disclosure was made by the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyrsus, at the opening of the body's Annual Executive Board virtual meeting. Referring specifically to bilateral vaccine deals, Ghebreyesus pointed out that 44 were signed in 2020 and at least 12 have already been signed this year.
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'It's right that all governments want to prioritize vaccinating their own health workers and older people first.
He called on wealthier countries to hold off on vaccinating their young and healthier adults so that older people and front-line health-care workers in developing countries could receive their doses.
Pfizer and its collaborator, BioNTech, announced that the vaccine was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis.
"I need to be blunt: The world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure - and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world's poorest countries", he said, noting that although 39 million doses have been administered in more than 40 higher-income countries, one poor country has given only 25 doses.
The WHO chief said that these actions will not help in stopping the spread of coronavirus but "will only prolong the pandemic".
"We aim to start deliveries in February", he said.
'There will be enough vaccine for everyone.