Ns News Online Desk: GENEVA — The World Health Organization and related groups announced that 156 countries and regions, including Japan, have joined COVAX, an international framework for jointly purchasing and distributing vaccines against the novel coronavirus.
Under this scheme, the vaccines are said to cover 64% of the world’s population, as the United States, China and Russia are not participating.
COVAX, led by the WHO and international organizations such as Gavi, which supports vaccinations in developing countries, aims to secure 2 billion doses of a vaccine by the end of 2021. Contributions from 64 high-income countries, including Japan and European nations, will be used for manufacturing and other purposes, while 92 low- and middle-income countries will receive support in procurement. In the future, 38 more countries are expected to join COVAX, and dialogue with China is said to be ongoing.
The United States announced it would not participate, saying the country would not be “constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China,” and has made early domestic vaccination the top priority. China and Russia are increasingly moving to provide vaccines developed in their own countries to other countries on their own.
“The first priority must be to vaccinate some people in all countries, rather than all people in some countries,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during an online press conference. “Vaccine nationalism will prolong the pandemic, not shorten it