Countries donate less than 20% of the doses they promised WHO

Rich countries donated a fraction of the doses they promised to the Covax Facility consortium, a World Health Organization (WHO) initiative to accelerate immunization against Covid-19 on an equal footing.

Donations are taking longer than expected, as countries have applied booster doses to their own populations and started to immunize children and adolescents, which creates an important ethical dilemma for the world.

The United States, for example, had pledged to donate 587.5 million doses, but only 193.4 million have reached Covax so far, according to data gathered by Oxford University’s Ourworld in Data platform. Of this total, only 140.3 million were actually delivered to nations in need.

The European Union already announced that it would make 451.5 million doses available. Of this total, 298.3 million doses reached the Covax system and only 57.8 million have been distributed and applied. In the UK, the difference is even greater. Of the 100 million doses promised, only 26.2 million were delivered to Covax and 8 reached their destination.

Booster doses and immunization of children under 18 are recommended by experts, but in the meantime, the virus has spread in countries with low vaccination rates, facilitating the emergence of new variants, such as Ômicron. In African countries, not even health professionals are fully vaccinated.

More than a year after the beginning of the global vaccination campaign, which began in December 2020 in the United Kingdom, the inequality in the application of immunization agents is very expressive. On average, 58.4% of the global population received at least one dose of vaccine. In the poorest countries in the world, this percentage is 8.5%.

The delay in donations from rich countries is one of the reasons for the frustration of the goals of the Covax Facility consortium. The initial WHO goal was to vaccinate 2 billion people through the initiative in 2021, but less than half concrete: 907 million immunizations have been distributed so far.

The consortium also suffered from a lack of doses, because of difficulties at a vaccine factory in India. Furthermore, logistics are complicated in poor countries that do not have efficient public systems. It is noteworthy that Covax does not only work with donations, as some countries actually bought vaccines at lower prices.

See photos of the Covid-19 vaccination around the world:

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