WHO calls for regional vaccine manufacture

Kigali, Dec 6 (EFE).- The World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday called for the regional diversification of vaccine production to tackle coronavirus and any future pandemics.

Unequal vaccine distribution, with poor countries obtaining 0.6 percent of the coronavirus jabs thus far, “show why the world needs more widespread, regionally based vaccine production,” he said during a forum organized by the African Union.

This inequality allows the virus to spread and mutate beyond expectations, he said in an online speech he delivered during the forum in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

The travel restrictions for southern African countries after the Omicron variant was detected are an example of the unfair situation facing the world’s most vulnerable countries, according to Tedros, which he said has been aggravated by the disability to stock up on pharmaceutical remedies.

“It is deeply disappointing to me that some countries continue to block direct flights from southern Africa due to the Omicron variant,” he said.

He stressed the need to transfer technology, knowledge and training human resources to equip the most disadvantaged regions with the tools to face future pandemics, he added.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Africa has reported 8.7 million cases and 223,000 deaths, with only 7 percent of its population fully inoculated, the African CDC’s data shows. EFE


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