The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Ms. Kristalina Georgieva and other multilateral-organization leaders advised countries with high COVID-19 vaccination rates to improve efforts to send doses to low- and middle-income countries.
Ms. Georgieva and the heads of the World Bank Group, World Health Organization (WHO) and World Trade Organization (WTO) raised their concern in a joint statement that it would not be possible to vaccinate at least 40 percent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 without urgent action.
Wide inequalities in vaccination rates in advanced economies and developing countries will be a key issue raised during a virtual global summit that the US is organizing on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
IMF spokesperson, Mr. Gerry Rice stated that the US President Mr. Joe Biden had invited Ms. Georgieva to speak at the September 22 event, which has not yet been formally announced by the White House. A White House spokesperson declined to comment.
Earlier this week, it was reported that the US was pushing global leaders to endorse an ambitious vaccination target at the summit, getting 70 percent of the world’s population vaccinated by the time of the 2022 General Assembly.
Countries with high vaccination rates, which have collectively pre-purchased over 2 billion doses more than needed, should urgently change their near-term delivery schedules with global distribution programs to address gaps in low- and middle-income countries.
The leaders of the multilateral organizations urged high-income countries to fulfill their dose donation pledges and release vaccine companies from contracts so those doses can be delivered to people in need.
The group also urged vaccine manufacturers to prioritize and fulfill their contracts to COVAX and AVAT, an African distribution program, and improve transparency by sharing details on delivery schedules for all vaccine shipments.