To get the corona pandemic under control, rich countries should provide poorer countries with vaccines before vaccinating children. World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said so.
Tedros wants countries that are already advanced in vaccinating their populations to give vaccines to Covax, an international program that makes vaccines available to poorer countries. The WHO boss understands why some countries want to vaccinate children and adolescents but urges them to reconsider.
Alarming situation in India
Tedros pointed out that the second year of the pandemic threatens to be much more deadly than the first, with the situation in India in particular of great concern. There, according to official figures, more than 4,000 people a day have died from Covid-19 in recent days, but that number is probably considerably higher.
But the situation is also dire in countries such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Egypt, according to Tedros. He says currently, only 0.3 percent of vaccine production goes to lower-income countries.
As a result, there are too few doses to vaccinate healthcare workers in many places, and hospitals are inundated with people in need of urgent care. Tedros warns against a moral failure of vaccine nationalism because he believes that is what is happening now.
Canada and the US have already approved the vaccination of children over the age of 12, and in several countries, young people over the age of 16 can also receive a vaccine.