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The World Health Organization’s Pandemic Review Panel Dismayed on Vaccine Distribution

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The World Health Organization’s pandemic review panel co-chair Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Tuesday expressed disappointment in COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plans which she said means shots will not be widely available in Africa until 2022 or 2023. “The panel is discouraged and frankly disappointed by the unequal plans for vaccine rollout,” the former Liberian president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate told an Executive Board meeting of the WHO. She told an online briefing of the World Health Organization that vaccine rollout in poorer countries was going too slowly: We are grateful to scientists for developing vaccines in record time. As 2020 ended we felt hope, but the panel is discouraged and frankly disappointed by the unequal plans for vaccine rollout. Tens of millions of doses of vaccines are already available in some of the wealthiest countries, but based on current plans vaccines will not be widely available across the African continent, for example, until 2022 or even 2023. It is unacceptable for wealthy countries to be able to [vaccinate] 100% of their population while poorer countries make do with only 20%. It is no exaggeration to say that we are at risk of creating a vaccine distribution system grounded in inequity.”

SOURCE: REUTERS

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