Why the endgame to the pandemic is never going to take place?

Blog post by Marica Micallef

Back in July 2021, WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced that the organization’s “common goal must be to vaccinate 70% of the population of each country” against Covid “by the middle of next year”, that is 2022.

In the meantime, we had our Prime Minister Abela, stating that the discussion of whether the pandemic should change into an endemic can be done in our country because we have the vaccine and because our country had a vaccination campaign that moved smoothly and strongly”. [1]

It seems that this 70% has not been reached worldwide yet, because on December 17th, 2021, WHO together with the heads of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, and World Trade Organization held high-level consultations with Gavi and UNICEF in order to increase the use of COVID-19 vaccines and other critical medical countermeasures in low-income and lower-middle-income countries and supporting countries to be better prepared, resourced, and ready to roll out vaccines.

In this meeting, they agreed on “the urgency to accelerate vaccinations in LICs, where under 5% of the population is fully vaccinated, as well as in LMICs, where around 30% of the population is fully vaccinated. Thus, they agreed to work with countries to support and strengthen their national vaccination goals consistent with the global target to vaccinate 70% of the populations in all countries by mid-2022.”[2]

If the pandemic is nearing its end game, can I ask why global leaders, on 19th January 2022, “called for urgent additional funding of at least US$ 5.2 billion for the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment to establish a Pandemic Vaccine Pool of a minimum of 600 million additional doses to address uncertainties and risks in the virus’ evolution, provide bundled finance to strengthen delivery systems in recipient countries, and cover essential ancillary costs?”

In this calling, the leaders stressed that this would ensure them to act quickly in response to any future developments of the pandemic so as to protect the health and economies of lower-income countries, but also to protect the entire world against continuing waves of virus variants.

The result of all this is that the pharmaceutical companies will end up producing more vaccines and in turn, making more astronomical profits.

[1] https://talk.mt/ara-minn-pandemija-ghal-endemija-bis-sahha-tal-vaccin/

[2] https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news21_e/covid_22dec21_e.htm

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