UNICEF urges G7 to donate excess COVID jabs to developing world | Daily News

UNICEF urges G7 to donate excess COVID jabs to developing world

The UNICEF yesterday urged the G7 nations to donate excess COVID Vaccine doses as countries like Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Maldives which had witnessed a rapid rise in infections.

“The clearest pathway out of this pandemic is a global, equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics” the UNICEF said.

The full statement issued by the UNICEF Executive Director:

“The COVAX Facility – the global COVID vaccine equity scheme – will deliver its 65 millionth dose in the coming days.

It should have been at least its 170 millionth. By the time G7 leaders gather in the UK next month, and as a deadly second wave of COVID-19 will likely continue to sweep across India and many of its South Asian neighbours, the shortfall will near 190 million doses.

“We have issued repeated warnings of the risks of letting down our guard and leaving low- and middle-income countries without equitable access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics. We are concerned that the deadly spike in India is a precursor to what will happen if those warnings remain unheeded. While the situation in India is tragic, it is not unique. Cases are exploding and health systems are struggling in countries near – like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives – and far, like Argentina and Brazil. The cost for children and families will be incalculable.

“The longer the virus continues to spread unchecked, the higher the risk of more deadly or contagious variants emerging.

“The clearest pathway out of this pandemic is a global, equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics. COVAX, led by the WHO, Gavi and CEPI, with UNICEF as implementing partner, represents such a pathway. But COVAX is undersupplied.

“Among the global consequences of the situation in India, a global hub for vaccine production, is a severe reduction in vaccines available to COVAX. Soaring domestic demand has meant that 140 million doses intended for distribution to low- and middle-income countries through the end of May cannot be accessed by COVAX. Another 50 million doses are likely to be missed in June. This, added to vaccine nationalism, limited production capacity and lack of funding, is why the roll-out of COVID vaccines is so behind schedule.

“G7 leaders will be meeting next month with a potential emergency stop-gap measure readily available. New data analysis provided by Airfinity, the life sciences research facility, and commissioned by the UK National Committee for UNICEF, indicates that G7 nations and ‘Team Europe’ group of European Union Member States could donate around 153 million vaccine doses if they shared just 20 per cent of their available supply over June, July and August. ”