THREAD: The World Health Organization holds a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic.

Live blog:
WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: As you know, WHO’s global targets are to support every country to vaccinate at least 40% of its population by the end of this year, and 70% of the world’s population by the middle of next year
.@DrTedros: So far just 2 countries in Africa have reached the 40% target, the lowest of any region. That’s not because African countries don’t have the capacity or experience to roll out #COVID19 vaccines. It’s because they've been left behind by the rest of the 🌍
@DrTedros .@DrTedros: More than 5.7B [#COVID19 vaccine] doses have been administered globally, but only 2% of those have been administered in Africa. This leaves people at high risk of disease & death exposed to a deadly virus against which many other people around the 🌍 enjoy protection
@DrTedros .@DrTedros: The longer vaccine inequity persists, the more:

-the virus will keep circulating & changing
-the longer the social & economic disruption will continue
-the higher the chances that more variants will emerge that render vaccines less effective
@DrTedros .@DrTedros: So far, #COVAX has shipped more than 260 million [#COVID19 vaccine] doses to 141 countries. But as you know, COVAX has also faced several challenges, with manufacturers prioritizing bilateral deals and many high-income countries tying up the global supply of vaccines
@DrTedros .@DrTedros: Last year, the @_AfricanUnion (AU) established the African #COVID19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, or AVAT, as a compliment to #COVAX to purchase vaccines for AU Member States
@DrTedros .@DrTedros: Yesterday and today, we had a very constructive meeting between partners from #COVAX and AVAT to agree on a way forward. Vaccine inequity is a solvable problem
@DrTedros .@DrTedros: We call on manufacturers to prioritize #COVAX and AVAT
@DrTedros .@DrTedros: We call on countries that have already achieved high coverage levels to:

-swap their near-term 💉 deliveries with #COVAX & AVAT
-fulfil their dose-sharing pledges immediately
-facilitate the sharing of technology, know-how & IP to support regional 💉 manufacturing
@DrTedros .@DrTedros: We call on all countries and manufacturers to share information on:

-bilateral deals with #COVAX & AVAT so we understand where 💉 are needed most
-supply & delivery projections so countries can be ready to immediately roll out vaccines when they land
@DrTedros .@DrTedros: We call on all countries to recognize all #COVID19 vaccines with WHO Emergency Use Listing

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