Vaccine promises are being broken

“Other countries around the world have almost nobody who’s been vaccinated.”


Vaccine promises are being broken

Wealthy countries are failing to make good on their vaccine pledges to low-income countries

By September 2021, just 15% of the 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses promised to COVAX by high-income countries had materialised.

The WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus has repeatedly addressed the situation, telling world leaders “People are dying who should not be.”

“We have the solutions to stop transmission and save lives. But those solutions are not being shared.”

When the world’s wealthiest countries agreed to help lower-income countries by donating COVID-19 vaccines and supporting COVAX, there was cause for hope.

But while vaccine rollouts in high-income countries have greatly reduced the risk of death from COVID, low-income countries are living with uncertainty.

The WHO aimed to vaccinate 40% of every country’s population by the end of 2021, but that target was not achieved. By the end of the year some countries still had only been able to vaccinate less than 1% of their population, due to lack of supply. Meanwhile, in some richer countries, 90% of all adults are vaccinated and life is returning to normal.

This staggering inequality leaves billions of people wondering how long they have to wait to be safe.

“Everybody had been generous,” says UN Resident Coordinator in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ingrid MacDonald, in our video. “But what we saw was that suddenly all the vaccines were taken up by other countries that had purchased them.”

When it comes to saving lives, all countries should be equal. But the economic inequality we see across the globe is being mirrored in vaccine inequity. The richest nations are buying up vaccines for themselves, while countries who cannot afford to are left waiting.

“Manufacturers have promised to prioritise COVAX and low-income countries,” says Dr Ghebreyesus. “We don’t want any more promises. We just want the vaccines.”

The message remains the same – the pandemic isn’t over until it’s over for everybody. Use your voice and share this message to your followers on social media today.