The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF are calling on Governments that have vaccinated their own health workers and populations at highest risk of severe disease to share vaccines through COVAX so other countries can do the same.

In a joint statement, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore and WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that of the 128 million vaccine doses administered so far, more than three quarters of those vaccinations are in just 10 countries that account for 60% of global GDP.

However, almost 130 countries, with 2.5 billion people, are yet to administer a single dose. They called this a self-defeating strategy that will cost lives and livelihoods, give the virus further opportunity to mutate and evade vaccines and will undermine a global economic recovery.

COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. The ACT Accelerator is a global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.

Covid-19 has shown that our fates are inextricably linked

In the statement, Henrietta Fore and Dr Tedros Adhanom said: "COVAX participating countries are preparing to receive and use vaccines. Health workers have been trained, cold chain systems primed. What’s missing is the equitable supply of vaccines. 

"To ensure that vaccine rollouts begin in all countries in the first 100 days of 2021, it is imperative that vaccine manufacturers allocate the limited vaccine supply equitably; share safety, efficacy and manufacturing data as a priority with WHO for regulatory and policy review; step up and maximize production; and transfer technology to other manufacturers who can help scale the global supply.

"We need global leadership to scale up vaccine production and achieve vaccine equity. Covid-19 has shown that our fates are inextricably linked. Whether we win or lose, we will do so together.”