On 18 January, leader of the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned of the moral consequences of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout. Richer countries are monopolising the jab and developing countries are paying the price.  

“The world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure. The price of this failure will be paid in lives and livelihoods of those living in the world’s poorest countries,” warned Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation.

He addressed the Executive Committee of the United Nations office in Geneva, condemning the selfishness of richer countries and criticising vaccine manufacturers. The Director-General disagreed with the current approach taken by manufacturers, which is to only seek approval for use from regulatory agencies in wealthier nations. According to him, WHO should be the body to approve vaccines and declare them safe to administer in all countries. The new British Covid-19 variant serves as a reminder of the need for a quick and fair global distribution of the vaccine.

39 million doses for rich countries versus 25 in one poor country

Across 49 rich countries, 39 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have already been administered. However, the leader of the World Health Organisation lamented that “in one of the world’s poorest countries, only 25 doses have been administered.” He went on to clarify, without naming the country, that “this figure is not 25 million, not 25,000, but simply 25.”

The Princely government in Monaco is a huge advocate of equality and works in close partnership with WHO. In May last year, Prince Albert II attended the virtual event “Coronavirus Global Response“. Set up by the European Union, the initiative aimed to establish a coordinated global response to the coronavirus pandemic.