United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday said that 11 billion doses are needed to vaccinate 70 per cent of the world to end the pandemic.
Pledges of doses and funds are welcome, but they are not enough, Guterres 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 vaccine doses, tests, treatments and support.
The development and roll-out of vaccines, including through the global equity mechanism, the ACT-Accelerato and its COVAX facility is offering hope,' the UN chief said.
Remarking that there is 'uneven access' to these COVID-19 tools, especially vaccines across the world and within the countries, Guterres said that a 'global vaccination gap threatens us all' because as the virus mutates, it could become even more transmissible and deadly.
'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,' he added.
The UN chief said, '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.' Guterres said that right now it is essential to fully finance the ACT-Accelerator and support the 50 billion US 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 COVID-19 pandemic and secure a global recovery.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the world has so far recorded over 18,8616,093 positive cases, out of which, 17,24,35,944 have successfully recovered and 40,65,804 have died.
The United States of America, India, Brazil and Russia are among the worst-affected countries by the pandemic.
The total number of COVID cases recorded in the US, India, Brazil and Russia are 3,48,07,813, 3,08,74,376, 1,91,52,065 and 58,33,175 respectively.