The coronavirus has been wreaking havoc around the world for the past year. The vaccine's introduction was a welcome sign of hope, but the fight against the virus is far from over. With developed countries procuring vast proportions of vaccines, very little is left for the low-income countries. The World Health Organisation has also flagged this unequal distribution.
On May 5, Canada became the first country to authorize the use of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15. While the USA had also announced its plan to do the same. On May 14, President Biden had announced that people who are fully vaccinated in the country didn't have to wear a mask. Although developed countries work to achieve herd immunity, low-income countries are in the midst of a crisis, with hospitals failing and healthcare systems on the verge of collapse.
'Only 0.3 % Vaccine For Low-income Countries
Globally, more than 700 million vaccine doses have been delivered, with wealthier countries receiving more than 87 per cent and low-income countries receiving just 0.2 per cent, according to the United Nations last month.
"COVID-19 has already cost more than 3.3 million lives and we're on track for the second year of this pandemic to be far more deadly than the first," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
He added that countries apart from India also have emergency needs. Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Egypt are just some of the countries that are dealing with spikes in cases and hospitalisations.
"I understand why some countries want to vaccinate their children and adolescents, but right now I urge them to reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to COVAX. Because in low and lower-middle-income countries, vaccine supply has not been enough to even immunize health and care workers, and hospitals are being inundated with people that need lifesaving care urgently. At present, only 0.3 per cent of vaccine supply is going to low-income countries," The News Minute quoted Adhanom as saying.
Over 3,365,106 people worldwide have succumbed to covid 19 while India has accounted for 266,207 of these deaths and South Africa stands at 55,183. America has administered 270,832,342 vaccination doses, only 12,501,020 doses, 481,978, and 933,436 doses have been administered in India, Bhutan and Kenya respectively.