GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday called on the world’s 20 richest nations, holding a summit next week, to step up donations of COVID-19 doses to the global south where vaccinations lag.
“The @g20org countries must fulfil their dose-sharing commitments immediately,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news briefing.
Gordon Brown, WHO ambassador for global health financing, said that if the world’s richest countries cannot mobilise for a vaccine airlift to developing countries, an epidemiological and economic “dereliction of duty will shame us all”.
There is still a shortfall of 500 million vaccine doses to reach WHO’s 40% vaccination target in all countries by year-end, while 240 million doses are lying unused in the West, Brown said.
(The story has been corrected to say 40% vaccination target is year-end, not mid-2022 in the last paragraph)
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and Sri Kalyani Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Jon Boyle)