This catastrophic death toll exceeds the number of a population of one in three countries, Guterres´ spokesperson said.
‘Many of us know this loss directly and feel its pain. We mourn mothers and fathers who gave guidance, sons and daughters who inspired us, grandmothers and grandfathers who shared wisdom, colleagues and friends who lifted our lives.’
He said that while vaccines ‘offer a ray of hope’ most of the world lagged behind: ‘The virus is outpacing vaccine distribution. This pandemic is clearly far from over; more than half its victims died this year. Many millions more are at risk if the virus is allowed to spread like wildfire.’
The more coronavirus spreads, the more variants we see, the UNSG noted, some of which are more transmissible, more deadly and more likely to undermine the effectiveness of current vaccines.
¨Bridging the vaccine gap requires the greatest global public health effort in history¨, he said, calling for a Global Vaccine Plan to at least double production of vaccines and ensure equitable distribution, using the UN-supported COVAX international Covid-19 inoculation facility, as the main platform.
‘To realize this plan, I am calling for an Emergency Task Force that brings together all the countries with vaccine production capacities, the World Health Organization, the global vaccine alliance GAVI, and international financial institutions able to deal with the relevant pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers, and other key stakeholders.’
Global recovery requires a global vaccination, stressed Guterres, the heart-breaking loss of 4 million people due to the pandemic should prompt pressing efforts to put an end to the disease.
pgh/Pll/mem / ifb