Some LICs and LMICs are facing serious challenges in vaccine deployment- Multilateral Leaders Task Force.
The Heads of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Health Organization, and World Trade Organization have decried the low levels of vaccination among lower income countries.
The high-powered meeting, which with Gavi and UNICEF on December 17, 2021, was aimed at exploring for ways to increase the use of COVID-19 vaccines and other critical medical countermeasures in low-income (LIC) and lower middle-income (LMIC) countries.
The meeting was also geared towards supporting these countries to be better prepared, resourced, and ready to roll out vaccines.
Themed: ‘‘From Vaccines to Vaccinations, a joint statement from meeting underscored the urgency to accelerate vaccinations in LICs, where under 5% of the population is fully vaccinated, as well as in LMICs, where around 30% of the population is fully vaccinated.
The leaders agreed to work with countries to support and strengthen their national vaccination goals, in line with the global target to vaccinate 70% of the populations in all countries by mid-2022.
They noted that the emergence of the Omicron variant underscores the vital need for fair and broad access to vaccines as well as testing, sequencing, and treatments to end the pandemic.
Addressing vaccine inequity, particularly in LICs, requires increasing the supplies of vaccines to COVAX and AVAT, encouraging LICs and LMICs to purchase additional vaccine doses, and enhancing country readiness to deploy vaccines.
The unavailability of COVID-19 vaccines and lack of deployment facilities in lower income countries have become a major concern to leaders, especially on the African continent.
Even when the vaccines are available, the vaccines usually have a short shelf life, leading to the destruction of many of the vaccines.
The case in point is the decision by the Nigerian government to crush over 1 million of donated vaccines, which expired days after shipment.