The World Health Organization (WHO) asked rich countries on Friday to donate 10 million coronavirus vaccine doses to poorer nations.
“COVAX is ready to deliver, but we can’t deliver vaccines we don’t have. Bilateral deals, export bans and vaccine nationalism have caused distortions in the market with gross inequities in supply and demand,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference, Reuters reported.
“Ten million doses is not much, and it’s not nearly enough,” Tedros added.
Poorer countries have struggled with obtaining the vaccine.
Richer ones such as the United States, China and others have been able to vaccinate millions of citizens in order to curb the coronavirus.
The U.S. has signaled it will not be sending vaccines to most other countries until every American is able to be vaccinated, though the Biden administration has announced a deal to share with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico.
"The president has made clear that he is focused on ensuring that vaccines are accessible to every American. That is our focus," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a press briefing toward the beginning of March. "The next step is economic recovery, and ensuring that our neighbors, Mexico and Canada, have similarly managed the pandemic so that we can open our borders and build back better."
Countries in the European Union, meanwhile have come under fire for their slow vaccination rollout.
It is unclear what countries, if any, might respond to the WHO’s call for donations.