New York, Sep 15 : Even as the world is rushing for solutions to fight Covid-19, developing and manufacturing vaccines will not end the pandemic quickly unless they are delivered equitably, warn Bill and Melinda Gates.
According to a projection by Northeastern University, if rich countries buy up the first two billion doses of vaccine instead of making sure they are distributed equitably, then almost twice as many people could die from Covid-19.
"Researchers are very close to developing safe, effective coronavirus vaccines, but breakthrough science must be met by breakthrough generosity," Melinda Gates said in a statement.
"We need leaders in government and the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that everyone, regardless of where they live, can access these vaccines.
And we're hopeful that will happen."
However, according to the fourth annual Goalkeepers Report released by the Bill (and) Melinda Gates Foundation on Monday the world has regressed by nearly every indicator because of Covid-19.
Because of the pandemic, extreme poverty has increased by seven per cent, said the report.
Vaccine coverage, a good proxy measure for how health systems are functioning, is dropping to levels last seen in the 1990s, setting the world back about 25 years in 25 weeks.
The report showed how economic damage has reinforced inequities and derailed achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The ripple effects of COVID-19 have stopped 20 years of progress toward these global goals, said the report.