Although the first vaccines are now delivered in West Africa, according to reporter Elles van Gelder, the Covax program faces significant challenges. This is because wealthy countries on the continent have started buying vaccines themselves, outside of Kovacs.
“In the beginning, the idea of the initiative was that rich countries would also buy their vaccines through Covax. By working together globally, you can really create equal access, and the whole world will stand strong toward pharmaceutical companies. Rich countries.” They joined Covax, but did not want to rely on it alone and at the same time concluded their own bilateral contracts. They are still helping poor countries with their donations, but at the same time they are competing with Covax for vaccines, and they are winning this race. “
Nevertheless, UNICEF Representative Mark Vincent still believes in the vaccination program. “The original plan was that vaccines would be available to both rich and poor countries. The fact that the first shipments have now also been sent to poor countries shows that cooperation and thus the platform is working.” He says he wants to raise more money so that all countries can benefit from it.
While Western countries have started buying vaccines themselves, it is certainly in their best interest to get people vaccinated in poor countries. Van Gelder: “Scientists warn that new booms could appear in those poor countries, and that they could also spread to western countries. So it should not be limited to helping low-income countries from an ethical point of view.”
So there is a lot of discussion about helping poor countries. The UK says it will give the vaccines it left over to Covax, but only after its residents have been vaccinated. Other leaders believe poor countries should wait so long.
Norway said that it will exchange vaccines with poor countries, not when they are ready at home, but in parallel with the vaccination of the population of Norway, and French President Macron suggested that rich countries possess 3 to 5 percent of the vaccines. They must participate immediately in order to achieve a more equitable distribution, ”says Van Gelder. It remains to be seen whether or not that will happen.