“Although hundreds of millions of people are still waiting for their first dose, some rich countries are turning to stimulant doses,” Tedros added. “To date, more than 4 billion doses of vaccine have been administered globally. More than 80% have gone to high- and middle-income countries, even though they represent less than half of the world’s population.”
While Tedros said he understands all governments’ interest in protecting their people from the delta variant, “we cannot and should not accept countries that have already used the most global supplies of vaccines using more of them while the world’s most vulnerable people remain unprotected.”
In May, Tedros called for global support to enable countries to vaccinate at least 10% of their population by September. He said that although it is more than halfway past the target date, the world is not on the right track.
When his challenge was released, Tedros said, high-income countries had given about 50 doses per 100 people.
Since then, the number has doubled, with high-income countries now administering close to 100 doses per 100 people, while low-income countries have been able to administer 1.5 doses per 100 people due to a lack of supplies.
“We need an urgent change from the majority of vaccines going to high-income countries to the majority going to low-income countries,” Tedros said.
Tedros called on G20 leaders to make concrete commitments to support the WHO’s global vaccination goals, for vaccine producers to prioritize COVAX, and everyone with influence to support the call for a halt to boosters.