WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the vaccine nationalism will prolong the COVID-19 pandemic as he expressed concern that some countries are rolling out vaccine only for their own citizens while the world’s least developed nations only wait and watch.
Speaking at the last day of the week-long online Davos Agenda Summit of the World Economic Forum, he said many countries are rolling out vaccines for their own people, but it is leaving the most vulnerable people of the world at a big risk.
“The pandemic has exposed and exploited the inequalities of our world, he said. There is now the real danger that the very tools that could help to end the pandemic — the vaccines — may exacerbate those same inequalities,” the WHO chief said.
He said, “Vaccine nationalism will only prolong the pandemic, the restrictions needed to contain it, and human and economic suffering .If we lose trust in international collaboration through vaccine nationalism, we will all pay the price in terms of a protracted recovery.
” He said the WHO is asking those governments that have already received deliveries of vaccines to vaccinate their health workers and older people, and share excess doses with COVAX (an alliance of vaccine makers for COVID-19) so other countries can do the same. Speaking in the same session, Norway’s Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide also called for global solidarity.