United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers a speech before the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, on June 24, 2021. (European Union/Handout via Xinhua)
"The world needs a Global Vaccination Plan to at least double the production of vaccines, ensure equitable distribution through COVAX, coordinate implementation and financing, and support national immunization programs," said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
UNITED NATIONS, July 13 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday that 11 billion doses are needed to vaccinate 70 percent of the world to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Pledges of doses and funds are welcome -- but they are not enough. We need at least 11 billion doses to vaccinate 70 percent of the world and end this pandemic," the UN chief told the opening of the ministerial segment of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, which is the top platform for reviewing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
"Everyone, everywhere, must have access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests, treatments and support," said the top UN official.
"The development and roll-out of vaccines, including through the global equity mechanism, the ACT-Accelerator and its COVAX facility, is offering hope," said the secretary-general.
Noting that there is "uneven access" to these tools, especially vaccines, around the world and within countries, the UN chief said that "a global vaccination gap threatens us all" because as the virus mutates, it could become even more transmissible, or even more deadly.
Photo taken on March 5, 2021 shows AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines from COVAX vaccine sharing program being unloaded from a plane at Entebbe International Airport, Uganda. (Photo by Hajarah Nalwadda/Xinhua)
"The world needs a Global Vaccination Plan to at least double the production of vaccines, ensure equitable distribution through COVAX, coordinate implementation and financing, and support national immunization programs," said Guterres.
"To realize this plan, I have been calling for an Emergency Task Force that brings together the countries that produce and can produce vaccines, the World Health Organization, the ACT-Accelerator partners and international financial institutions, able to deal with the relevant pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers, and other key stakeholders," the secretary-general spelled out.
"Right now, it is essential to fully finance the ACT-Accelerator and support the 50 billion U.S. dollar investment roadmap, to be led by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization, to end the pandemic and secure a global recovery," said the secretary-general. ■