WHO report denounces inequalities in the global vaccine market

World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for changes even in the global distribution of vaccines in a report released Wednesday. Photo courtesy of World Health Organization/Twitter

November 9 (UPI) — Poorer countries are struggling to access essential vaccines as the global vaccine market remains unequal, the World Health Organization said in a new report on Wednesday.

The Global Vaccines Market Report 2022 shows that inequitable distribution is not unique to COVID-19 vaccines. The human papillomavirus vaccine against cervical cancer has been introduced in 41% of low-income countries, even though they account for a large part of the disease burden, compared to 83% of high-income countries, according to the report.

“The right to health includes the right to vaccines,” WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press release. “And yet, this new report shows that free market dynamics deprive some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people of this right. WHO calls for much-needed changes in the global vaccine market to save lives, prevent disease and prepare for the future. seizures. »

One of the reasons for the inequality is the high concentration of manufacturing capacity. Ten manufacturers alone supply 70% of non-COVID-19 vaccines, while several of the top vaccines rely primarily on two vendors, the report said.

“This concentrated manufacturing base leads to the risk of shortages, as well as regional supply insecurity,” the WHO said. “In 2021, the African and Eastern Mediterranean regions depended on manufacturers headquartered elsewhere for 90% of their purchased vaccines. Entrenched intellectual property monopolies and limited technology transfer further limit the ability to build and use local manufacturing capacity.

The report calls on governments to adopt clear vaccination plans, more aggressive investments and tighter oversight of vaccine development.

“COVID-19 has proven that vaccines can be developed and delivered quickly, with the process lasting on average 10 years but never less than four years, compressed to 11 months,” the report said. “The pandemic has also revealed the long-standing need to recognize vaccines as a fundamental, cost-effective public good rather than a commodity.”

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