JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Disruption to global immunization system could delay COVID-19 vaccinations

Disruption to global immunization system could delay COVID-19 vaccinations

Sunday, May 24, 2020, 09:02 GMT+7
Disruption to global immunization system could delay COVID-19 vaccinations
A nurse fills a syringe with a vaccine before administering an injection at a children's clinic in Kiev. Photo: Reuters

GENEVA/ZURICH -- Massive disruptions to global immunisation programmes from the COVID-19 pandemic have health experts fearful that much of the developing world will not be able to get a vaccine for the new coronavirus, even once one is ready.

U.N. agencies and the GAVI vaccine alliance said on Friday that 80 million children in at least 68 countries may be at risk of diphtheria, measles and polio because routine immunisation efforts have been thrown into disarray by travel restrictions, delivery delays, and parents’ fear of leaving home.

If these continue to disrupt programmes, GAVI chief executive Seth Berkley said, much of the world may also be unprepared to administer vaccines against COVID-19 being developed by more than 100 projects worldwide.

“If we neglect the supply chains and immunization infrastructure that keep these programmes running, we also risk harming our ability to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine that represents our best chance of defeating this pandemic,” Berkley told reporters via a World Health Organization conference call.

London is hosting a virtual Global Vaccines Summit on June 4 where GAVI is seeking $7.4 billion for 2021-2025 to immunise an additional 300 million children.

Fragile health care systems are coming under strain from COVID-19, with cases in parts of Africa escalating and Brazil’s count of people stricken now at over 300,000, with over 20,000 deaths.

“South America has become a new epicentre of the disease,” said Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert.

Ryan took issue with the Brazilian government’s approval of the malaria medicine hydroxychloroquine for broad use against COVID-19, which he said goes against WHO guidance to wait for trial results, since the drug has deadly heart risks and remains unproven.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, also on the call, did not address the latest U.S. demands that his organization immediately begin investigating the novel coronavirus’s source, as well as the WHO’s pandemic response.

President Donald Trump, a WHO critic, has threatened to permanently withdraw U.S. funding.

Reuters

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Latest news