Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) speaks after Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases during the 148th session of the Executive Board on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Geneva, Switzerland, January 21, 2021. Christopher Black/WHO/Handout via REUTERS
GENEVA (Reuters) - The COVID-19 pandemic is being perpetuated by a "scandalous inequity" in vaccine distribution, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, addressing its annual ministerial assembly, urged countries to donate vaccine doses to the COVAX mechanism to inoculate 10% of populations of all countries by September, and 30% by year-end.
Tedros also called on vaccine manufacturers to give COVAX the first right of refusal on new volumes of vaccines, or to commit 50% of their volumes to COVAX this year.