UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for equal distribution of Covid-19 vaccines worldwide during a speech at the World Health Summit in Berlin.
“The triumph of the vaccines, developed and brought to market in record speed, is being undone by the tragedy of an unequal distribution. Three-quarters of all vaccines have gone to high- and upper-middle-income countries. Vaccine nationalism and hoarding are putting us all at risk,” Guterres said at the summit which opened on Sunday.
Health systems globally have been shattered by the Covid-19 pandemic, he said, adding: “Our commitment to achieving health for all has never been more important,” reports Xinhua news agency.
Around 6,000 experts from around the world are expected to participate in the World Health Summit, which will continue until Tuesday.
Due to the pandemic, it is also held as an online event.
The main theme of the Summit is “lessons learnt from Covid-19” such as equal access to vaccines.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), said that the pandemic could be controlled, but “requires far greater supply and sharing of vaccines by governments and manufacturers to the world’s most vulnerable countries, driven by a commitment to equity and solidarity”.
“The damage caused by Covid-19 has underscored the need for stronger global health architecture, and high-level political commitment, through a global compact or agreement to prevent and respond to pandemics,” he said.
Germany’s Minister of Health Jens Spahn stressed that the pandemic had deeply shaped the lives of all citizens in the world over the last one and a half years.
“Let us make use of the lessons we had to learn in a painful way,” he said.