WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

14-Sep-2021 00:05:03
WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the longer COVID-19 vaccine inequity persists, “the more the virus will keep circulating and changing, the longer the social and economic disruption will continue, and the higher the chances that more variants will emerge that render vaccines less effective.” WHO
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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 5:03
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 14 SEPTEMBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1.Close up, WHO logo
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"More than 5.7 billion doses have been administered globally, but only 2 per cent of those have been administered in Africa. This leaves people at high risk of disease and death exposed to a deadly virus against which many other people around the world enjoy protection. This doesn’t only hurt the people of Africa, it hurts all of us. The longer vaccine inequity persists, the more the virus will keep circulating and changing, the longer the social and economic disruption will continue, and the higher the chances that more variants will emerge that render vaccines less effective.”
3. Wide shot, press briefing room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"So far, COVAX has shipped more than 260 million doses to 141 countries. But as you know, COVAX has also faced several challenges, with manufacturers prioritizing bilateral deals and many high-income countries tying up the global supply of vaccines. Last year, the African Union established the African COVID-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, or AVAT, as a compliment to COVAX to purchase vaccines for the AU Member States."
5. Wide shot, press briefing room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“We call on manufacturers to prioritize COVAX and AVAT; We call on countries that have already achieved high coverage levels to swap their near-term vaccine deliveries with COVAX and AVAT; To fulfil their dose-sharing pledges immediately; And to facilitate the sharing of technology, know-how and intellectual property to support regional vaccine manufacturing. We call on all countries and manufacturers to share information on bilateral deals with COVAX and AVAT so we understand where vaccines are needed most; And to share information on supply and delivery projections so countries can be ready to immediately roll out vaccines when they land; And we call on all countries to recognize all vaccines with WHO Emergency Use Listing. "
7. Wide shot, press briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Seth Berkley, CEO, GAVI:
"In total, this year we expect to have a total of 1.4 billion doses available for delivery. This is enough to protect 20 per cent of the population in the 91 lower income economies eligible for doses in the advanced market commitment. By March this number will rise to 2.6 billion which is enough to protect 37 percent of the populations in these countries. So I think we've demonstrated that COVAX can work at scale but it is really time for the world to get behind it. That is why last week we called on Governments to recommit with further action. Join us in telling manufacturers to make the supply schedules transparent.”
9. Wide shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Strive Masiyiwa, African Union Special Envoy:
“As AVAT in the African Union we want to buy vaccines. They are not asking for donations. You can donate to us if you so wish but our basis is not a donation, that means we want access to purchase. We call on those countries that have put restrictions on exports. Exports of vaccines as finished products. Exports of ingredients, drug substance... these restrictions are even more urgent for us today than intellectual property because the intellectual property doesn't deliver vaccine to us tomorrow but an export ban lifted in the United States, in Japan, in China, in Korea, South Korea, India, that will give us vaccines immediately. So we urge you to put that into the mix.”
11. Wide shot, press briefing room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa:
"According to the International Health Regulations which is an agreement that Member States have reached together it is not to have requirement of proof of vaccination for international travel except for a vaccine that is widely available. And I think as we've discussed these vaccines are anything but widely available. "
13. Close up, WHO emblem
STORYLINE
WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the longer COVID-19 vaccine inequity persists, “the more the virus will keep circulating and changing, the longer the social and economic disruption will continue, and the higher the chances that more variants will emerge that render vaccines less effective.”

Speaking to reporters today (14 Sep) in Geneva, Tedros said that more than 5.7 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but only 2 per cent of those have been administered in Africa.”

He said, “this leaves people at high risk of disease and death exposed to a deadly virus against which many other people around the world enjoy protection. This doesn’t only hurt the people of Africa, it hurts all of us.”

On COVAX, Tedros said that it has shipped more than 260 million doses to 141 countries, but it has also faced several challenges, “with manufacturers prioritizing bilateral deals and many high-income countries tying up the global supply of vaccines.”

The WHO’s chief added, “last year, the African Union established the African COVID-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, or AVAT, as a compliment to COVAX to purchase vaccines for the AU Member States."

Tedros called on manufacturers to “prioritize COVAX and AVAT and countries that have already achieved high coverage levels to “swap their near-term vaccine deliveries with COVAX and AVAT; to fulfil their dose-sharing pledges immediately; and to facilitate the sharing of technology, know-how and intellectual property to support regional vaccine manufacturing.”

The WHO chief also called on all countries and manufacturers to “share information on bilateral deals with COVAX and AVAT so we understand where vaccines are needed most; And to share information on supply and delivery projections so countries can be ready to immediately roll out vaccines when they land; And we call on all countries to recognize all vaccines with WHO Emergency Use Listing. "

GAVI’s Dr Seth Berkley also spoke to the reporters. He said, "in total, this year we expect to have a total of 1.4 billion doses available for delivery. This is enough to protect 20 per cent of the population in the 91 lower income economies eligible for doses in the advanced market commitment.”

He continued, “By March this number will rise to 2.6 billion which is enough to protect 37 percent of the populations in these countries. So I think we've demonstrated that COVAX can work at scale but it is really time for the world to get behind it. That is why last week we called on Governments to recommit with further action. Join us in telling manufacturers to make the supply schedules transparent.”

African Union Special Envoy Strive Masiyiwa said, “as AVAT in the African Union we want to buy vaccines. They are not asking for donations. You can donate to us if you so wish but our basis is not a donation, that means we want access to purchase.”

He called on those countries that have put restrictions on exports, exports of vaccines as finished products. Exports of ingredients, drug substance...”

He explained, “these restrictions are even more urgent for us today than intellectual property because the intellectual property doesn't deliver vaccine to us tomorrow but an export ban lifted in the United States, in Japan, in China, in Korea, South Korea, India, that will give us vaccines immediately. So we urge you to put that into the mix.”

WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti said, "according to the International Health Regulations which is an agreement that Member States have reached together it is not to have requirement of proof of vaccination for international travel except for a vaccine that is widely available. And I think as we've discussed these vaccines are anything but widely available. "
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