Money alone won't vaccinate people: WHO

·1-min read

The head of the World Health Organisation is pleading with rich countries to check before ordering additional COVID-19 vaccine for themselves whether that undermines efforts to get vaccine to poorer countries.

Wealthy governments have snapped up several billion doses of vaccine while some countries in the developing world have little or none.

European countries have given financial support to the UN-backed COVAX effort to vaccine the world's most vulnerable people and are considering sharing some of their own doses.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that "even if you have the money, if you cannot use the money to buy vaccines - having the money doesn't mean anything".

Speaking after talks with Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, he said some rich countries' approaches to manufacturers for more vaccines are "affecting the deals with COVAX and even the amount that was allocated for COVAX was reduced because of this".

He didn't name any countries.

Tedros added that rich countries need to "cooperate in respecting the deals that COVAX did" and make sure before they seek more vaccines that their requests don't undermine those deals.

But, he said, "I don't think they're asking that question".