October 30, 2021
The World Health Organization has written an open letter to the heads of state gathered in Rome for the G-20 meeting, urging them to increase vaccine supplies for the world’s poorest, ensure access to vaccines for all people on the move and support low- and middle-income countries in combating COVID-19 with all available means.
“The current vaccine equity gap between wealthier and low resource countries demonstrates a disregard for the lives of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable,” the open letter said. “For every 100 people in high-income countries, 133 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, while in low-income countries, only 4 doses per 100 people have been administered.”
The WHO letter also warned, “Vaccine inequity is costing lives every day, and continues to place everyone at risk. History and science make it clear: coordinated action with equitable access to public health resources is the only way to face down a global public health scourge like COVID-19. We need a strong, collective push to save lives, reduce suffering and ensure a sustainable global recovery.”
Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, joined WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in signing another open letter to the G-20 leaders, urging them to make good on their promised vaccine donations to poor countries. “When the leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations met at the G-7 Summit in June, they collectively announced that 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines would be sent to low- and low-and-middle-income countries to help vaccinate the world. Pharmaceutical companies have pledged almost the same.