LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest provider of HIV/AIDS care and treatment worldwide, voices strong concern over recent remarks from World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that 87% of the more than 700 million vaccines administered globally have gone to high-income or upper-middle-income countries, while low-income countries have received a mere 0.2%. High-income countries have vaccinated on average 1 in 4 people, whereas only 1 in more than 500 people in low-income countries has received a COVID-19 vaccine.
“This scandalous discrepancy in vaccine access is more than just wrong – it’s disgusting, immoral and dangerous,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “The innovation and ambition it took to produce dozens of different COVID-19 vaccines in record time show we can accomplish monumental scientific achievements. But the greed and inequality we’ve seen since prove that there must also be a global collective will to ensure we can vaccinate our world. Instead of learning and improving, the global response is unraveling. An urgent call to action is needed to turn the tide and knock down all barriers to equitable vaccine access.”
If the world is to get on track to defeat the pandemic, international cooperation and transparency must be paramount, including waiving or suspending all novel coronavirus vaccine patents. Sufficient funding must also be secured to supply the world with the billions of vaccines necessary to reach everyone, which requires the rapid scale-up of vaccine production and adequate logistics for their distribution.
AHF is one of the many voices sounding the alarm on the gross inequities for access to lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines. It will soon be mobilizing an advocacy effort to urge world leaders to do all that is necessary to vaccinate our world now. If there are any countries not protected from COVID-19—no country is protected.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.5 million clients in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare
US MEDIA CONTACT:
Denys Nazarov, Director of Global Policy & Communications, AHF
Terri Ford, Chief of Global Advocacy & Policy, AHF