The World Health Organization (WHO) called on member states to engage with vaccine manufacturers to encourage intellectual property (IP) sharing and technology transfer to reduce inequalities in access to vaccines in poor countries.
“The most important priority of the global community is to stop the pandemic in its tracks, to stop its rapid transmission and to reverse the trend of resulting global distress,” wrote the WHO Director-General. , Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada, in a letter released Thursday.
“We know this goal is only achievable when everyone, everywhere, can access the health technologies they need for the detection, prevention, treatment and response of Covid-19,” they wrote .
The C-Tap initiative (the Covid-19 technology access pool) for Covid testing and vaccines was launched by the WHO in partnership with Costa Rica.
However, “it remains an underutilized tool,” said the letter urging member states to harness the potential of C-TAP to promote access and accelerate local production.
“This is why we call once again on all Member States to renew and broaden our collective engagement in the call for solidarity action and to proactively engage with the main stakeholders in their territory and to encourage the sharing of intellectual property and the transfer of technology through C-TAP. It is our responsibility to ensure a safer world for all, for this generation and for those to come, ”the letter said.
The WHO has long called for a more equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. He runs the Covax program which is designed to strike a blow at the poorest countries.
Until now. 72 million doses have been shipped to 125 countries via COVAX, but they are sufficient for just 1% of the total population of those countries.
More than 75% of all vaccines have been given in just 10 countries, Ghebreyesus said in his recent speech to the 74th WHO World Health Assembly.
Slamming the current vaccine crisis, he said it was a “scandalous injustice” that is perpetuating the Covid pandemic.
Ghebreyesus called on member states to support the vaccination of at least 10 percent of each country’s population by September and at least 30 percent by the end of the year.