WASHINGTON: A task force led by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Health Organisation and the World Trade Organisation, has launched a global database to identify gaps in the Covid-19 vaccine supply amid concerns about slow or delayed deliveries to developing countries.
The database and country-by-country dashboards on vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics aims to focus international attention on the issue and mobilise action for delivering Covid-19 supplies to developing countries, the IMF said in a press statement issued on Saturday.
“It is critical to improve clarity and transparency around the evolving vaccine market, expected production volumes, delivery schedules, and pre-purchase options,” the IMF said. “We call on manufacturers to accelerate delivery to developing countries and we call on advanced economies to scale-up near-term deliveries to developing countries.”
In May, the IMF unveiled a $50 billion proposal to end the Covid-19 pandemic by vaccinating at least 40 per cent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and at least 60 per cent by the first half of 2022.
In July, the Washington-based lender downgraded its growth outlook for emerging markets and developing economies due to their uneven access to vaccines and the emergence of Covid-19 variants that are hindering the shape of a global economic recovery.
More than 4.06 billion doses have been administered across 180 countries – enough to fully vaccinate 26.5 per cent of the global population. The latest rate was roughly 39.7 million doses a day.
However, the distribution has been largely uneven. Countries and regions with the highest incomes are getting vaccinated more than 30 times faster than those with the lowest.
Equitable access to vaccines is critical for the global economic outlook. Uneven access to vaccines and the emergence of Covid-19 variants could derail the global economic recovery and wipe out $4.5 trillion cumulatively from global gross domestic output by 2025, the IMF said in July. The IMF highlighted the urgency of providing more access to Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments to people in developing countries.
“In the area of vaccines, a key constraint is the acute and alarming shortage in the supply of doses to low and low-middle income countries, especially for the rest of 2021,” it said. “We call on countries with advanced Covid-19 vaccination programmes to release as soon as possible as much of their contracted vaccine doses and options as possible to Covax, AVAT [African Vaccine Acquisition Trust] and low and low-middle income countries.”