WHO says 'global community' is 'failing' for lack of vaccine distribution

WHO says 'global community' is 'failing' for lack of vaccine distribution
© Getty Images

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday that richer countries have been failing to do their part in distributing the coronavirus vaccine.

"Our world is failing, as the global community we are failing," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, Reuters reported.

Tedros condemned richer countries for withholding the vaccine from poorer countries while rich countries are opening their businesses back up and vaccinating children who are at low risk from the virus.

ADVERTISEMENT

Africa is getting hit particularly hard by the coronavirus with new cases and deaths going up by 40 percent this past week compared to the previous week.

The WHO previously warned of countries in Africa falling behind on vaccinations with most of the continent not being able to hit 10 percent of their population being vaccinated by September.

"The problem now is a supply problem, just give us the vaccines,” Tedros said.

Africa, and other countries around the world, have been experiencing an uptick in cases from the Delta variant that spreads more quickly than other variants of the virus.

Rich countries are seeing an increase from the variant, but the coronavirus vaccines that have been administered to millions of their citizens are sufficient to combat the virus. 

"The difference is between the haves and the have nots which is now completely exposing the unfairness of our world - the injustice, the inequality, let's face it," Tedros said.

The Group of Seven countries has committed to sharing 1 billion vaccine doses with the world — including 500 million from the U.S. — but the immediate rollout of vaccines to other countries has been slow.

"The level of paternalism, the level of colonial mindset that say 'we can't give you something because we're afraid you won't use it'. I mean seriously, in the middle of a pandemic?" WHO's top emergency expert Mike Ryan said, according to Reuters.