Vaccine: Gap between rich and poor is widening, WHO worries

GENEVA | The vaccination gap between rich and poor is widening, worried the WHO on Monday, which needs $ 26 billion for its device to accelerate access to tools to fight COVID-19.

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“Vaccine nationalism could cost the world economy up to $ 9.2 trillion,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters, citing a new study by the International Chamber of Commerce.

“Almost half of this amount, or $ 4.5 trillion, would be lost to the richest economies,” he added.

During his bi-weekly press conference, the director of the WHO also indicated that the device to accelerate access to tools to fight COVID-19, called the ACT Accelerator, still needed $ 26 billion in 2021 (21.4 billion euros).

Launched at the end of April 2020, during an event co-organized by the Director of WHO, the French President, the President of the European Commission, and the Bill & and Melinda Gates Foundation, the ACT accelerator aims to accelerate the development and the production of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines against the novel coronavirus and to ensure equitable access to them.

“Vaccine nationalism can serve short-term political goals, but it is in the medium and long-term economic interest of every nation to support vaccine equity,” Tedros insisted.

“Until we end the pandemic everywhere, we will not end it,” he said.

He added, “As we speak, the rich countries are rolling out vaccines while the least developed countries of the world watch and wait. With each passing day, the gap is widening between the haves and have-nots ”.

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