NEW YORK – It has become abundantly clear that there will be no broad-based recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic without an end to the health crisis, and equal access to vaccination is key to both, The Washington Post reported Tuesday in an article co-authored by the leaders of four global organizations.
“There has been impressive progress on vaccinations, with unprecedented achievements from scientists and public and private financing that has supported vaccine research, development and manufacturing scale-up. But a dangerous gap persists between richer and poorer nations,” said the report credited to Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund; Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization; David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group; and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organization.
Some affluent countries are already discussing the rollout of booster shots to their populations, but the vast majority of people in developing countries — even front-line health workers — have still not received their first shot. Low-income nations have received less than 1 percent of vaccines administered so far, it added.
Inequitable vaccine distribution is leaving millions of people vulnerable to the virus while allowing deadly variants to emerge and ricochet back across the world. As variants spread, even countries with advanced vaccination programs have been forced to reimpose stricter public health measures and travel restrictions, according to the report.
“The ongoing pandemic is deepening divergence in economic fortunes, with negative consequences for all,” it said.
“Ending the pandemic is possible — and requires global action now. Let’s all pull together and get the job done,” the report added.