While we may be ready to see the end of this pandemic, it appears that it is likely to continue for some time.

According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19The vaccination rollout will go on well into 2022, as many countries in the global south are left out.

Dr. Bruce Aylward, senior leader at the WHO, said the COVID crisis will loom a “year longer than it needs to” as poorer countries are not getting the help they need.

According to The People’s Vaccine charity alliance, less than 5% of Africa’s population has been vaccinated, compared to 40% of most other countries.

Nearly 66% of all the population in the United Kingdom have been fully immunized. It is approximately 62% in the European Union and 55% in the United States.

However, more than 50 countries failed to reach the WHO goal of 10% vaccine coverage.

Countries in high conflict like Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan have not been able to launch their programs. Meanwhile, natural disasters have halted the progress of countries like Haiti.

Deliveries delays, smaller manufacturing pools, wealthy countries hoarding vaccinations (Germany had stopped using AstraZeneca in January), have left the developing world without.

The COVAX initiative – which distributes the shots to poorer countries – also suffered when production was stopped in India as the country needed to focus on its own urgent needs.

Aylward said: “I can tell you we’re not on track. Or we’ll be in serious trouble. This pandemic is going to go on for a year longer than it needs to.”

He has urged wealthy countries not to be in the vaccine queue so that companies with pharmaceuticals can focus on poorer countries.

The global COVAX program was supposed to be in a better situation — meeting a target of 2 billion doses. Its progress has been impeded by other countries pulling back. Only 371 millions doses are currently being shipped.

COVAX had the idea of creating a pool vaccines so that everyone could have them.

Of course, COVAX is not only available to countries, but also Canada and the U.K. have their own vaccine provider agreements, which means that they can ramp up their programs.

Oxfam’s global health adviser, Rohit Malpani, said such countries were technically entitled to get vaccines through COVAX as they paid into the program but he said it was still “morally indefensible” as they also stockpiled vaccines from their own private agreements.

“They should not have been acquiring these doses from COVAX,” he said. “It’s nothing better than double-dipping and means that poorer countries which are already at the back of the queue, will end up waiting longer.”

Canada has said it has now ceased acquiring COVAX vaccinations while the U.K. said it was one of the countries who had “kick-started” COVAX, with a donation of £548 million ($756 million).

Source: HuffPost.com.

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