US$8 Billion Needed to Reach 40 Percent of World Population With Vaccines – Guterres

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday that some $8 billion will be required to ensure that 40% of people worldwide are vaccinated by the end of 2021.

Earlier on Thursday, Guterres, together with World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, launched the Global COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy to reach 70% of the world’s population with vaccines by the middle of 2022.

“With vaccine production now at nearly 1.5 billion doses per month, we can reach 40% of people in all countries by year’s end – if we can mobilize some $8 billion to ensure that distribution is equitable,” Guterres said during a press conference. “I urge all global stakeholders to step up, mobilize their resources and turn this strategy into reality.”

Guterres also warned that if global vaccine distribution remains uneven, there is a risk that new coronavirus variants able to resist vaccines will emerge in the Global South and undermine all vaccination efforts.

“Not to have equitable distribution of vaccines is not only a question of being immoral, it is also a question of being stupid,” he said.

The UN chief called on the G20 countries, set to convene on October 30, to use the upcoming meeting to deliver on their commitment to get the world vaccinated.

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