Rich countries must share their supplies of COVID-19 vaccines quickly, in line with recommendations made earlier this year by an independent panel appointed by the World Health Organization, the former co-chairs said on Tuesday.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia, and Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, expressed deep concern over the slow pace of vaccine redistribution from high-income to low-income countries.

The two former leaders served as co-chairs of the Independent Panel on Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR), launched by WHO in July 2020.

A critical step

The Independent Panel report recommended that high-income countries ensure that at least one billion doses of vaccines available to them were redistributed to 92 low and middle-income countries by 1 September, and a further one billion doses by mid-2022”, they declared.  

“Ensuring that all those around the world most vulnerable to the impact of the virus, including healthcare workers, older people and those with significant comorbidities, can be vaccinated quickly is a critical step towards curbing the pandemic“, according UN News.

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