A Call For Boosting The Production Of Covid-19 Vaccines In Developing Countries
With the threat of the virus still looming, countries are taking all measures to combat it. The virus has affected people as well as economies. While the economies have picked up and are moving towards betterment, what is still questionable is the coronavirus vaccine.
The supply of the vaccine is limited and each country has its own version of it.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, insisted member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) work in liaison with pharmacological businesses for increased production of vaccines. In order to multiply the global production of the vaccines, more Covid-19 vaccine production was required in the developing countries.
Okonjo-Iweala is the first woman to hold the office of the Director-General at the World Trade Organization (WTO). On her first day as the director-general, she referred to the poor countries and how people were dying there. She added that it was time to increase the production of the vaccines. Where the standard production capacity was 3.5 billion vaccine doses, the world now required 10 billion doses.
A group of developing countries headed by South Africa and India seek to relinquish intellectual property rights for coronavirus medicines and vaccines. This step by the developing countries is resisted by the European Union, United States, and other developed countries.
This is primarily what prompted the head of WTO to urge member countries to aid the production of vaccines in developing countries. According to her while the dispute continues, it was imperative that companies were urged to open up in developing countries.
Additionally, it was advised that more feasible production sites be certified to start operating in these countries.
In her speech to the member states, she pointed to the forthcoming world manufacturing convention. She urged the members to take this opportunity to start negotiations with associations of manufacturers.
After Trump had opposed the Okonjo-Iweala appointment in the WTO, she was finally appointed in February and assumed office this month. Formerly, she has served as the finance and foreign minister of Nigeria.
Her speech and actions are reassuring of the fact that she is ready to take up the new challenges and work. She wishes to revive the WTO after fearing that the world is leaving the global trade watchdog behind.
A study revealed that developed countries had pre-ordered extra vaccines, as a result of which the developing countries were experiencing a shortage. The vaccine targets mass immunization and such a program will be quite costly. This is especially true for developing countries since they have scarce fiscal resources. According to figures a widespread availability of vaccines in developing countries is expected around 2023.
The coronavirus pandemic disrupted quite a lot over a span of 1 year and it will take time to recover from its impact.