vaccination coverage in poor countries reaches 50%, says Gavi
Half the population of poor countries has now received two doses of vaccine against Covid-19, the international alliance Gavi announced on Thursday, welcoming the progress made in overcoming inequalities in access to vaccination.
In the 92 low-income countries that have received donor-funded vaccines, vaccine coverage has averaged 50%, said the Gavi alliance, which co-leads with the World Health Organization (WHO) and d other institutions the international Covax system which aims to ensure equitable availability in the world of vaccines and treatments against Covid-19.
The Gavi alliance and the WHO have long lamented the lack of solidarity regarding access to vaccination against Covid-19.
Although inequalities remain, “low-income countries have made remarkable progress”, reaching a “decisive threshold in the coverage” of vaccination against Covid-19, the Gavi alliance said in a press release.
Dramatic progress has been made since the start of 2022, with only 31% of people in these 92 countries having received their first two doses.
Previously, vaccination coverage in 34 of these countries was less than 10%, which is now the case in only ten countries, said Gavi.
The alliance particularly praised governments for prioritizing the vaccination of high-risk healthcare workers, with more than 80% of healthcare workers having been vaccinated in most low-income countries.
Derrick Sim, the acting managing director of Covax’s office within Gavi, hailed “vital progress”.
But “the pandemic is not overcome,” he warned. “Cases and deaths continue to rise and new variants pose a threat to us all.”
Since the first Covid-19 vaccines became available, Covax has delivered more than 1.4 billion doses to low-income countries worldwide.
“Vaccination inequality is the greatest moral failure of our time and people and countries are paying the price,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres lamented this year.