“Rapid progress at the end of the health crisis can increase global income cumulatively by $ 9 trillion between now and 2025, with benefits for all countries. This is huge. It is the best investment we can make today,” said Kristalina.
Countries like the United States, which bought more doses of covid-19 immunizers than they need to vaccinate the entire population, have been pressured to help those who are lagging behind in combating the pandemic.
Also on Monday, the Secretary of the American Treasury, Janet Yellen, said in a speech at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs that the global economy is threatened by the impact of covid-19 in different countries. “Our first task must be to clearly contain the virus, ensuring that vaccines, tests and medicines are available as widely as possible,” said Yellen.
The speech by the American Treasury secretary converges with the appeal of the head of the IMF, who said that “we cannot truly recover from this crisis anywhere unless we defeat the pandemic everywhere”.
The global economic forecast has improved, but with wide disparities between countries and regions, with developing nations having worse prospects, said the head of the IMF. “In part, this is due to unequal access to vaccines,” said Kristalina.
The director-general of the IMF demanded “strong actions” from countries to combat the pandemic and ensure a fairer distribution, sending excess doses of immunizers to countries that do not have enough to vaccinate the population.
The United States has been asked by the international community to share surplus doses, as they are able to increase the speed of vaccination against covid-19 in their own country. Americans have stopped doses of the vaccine produced by AstraZeneca, for example, which has not yet been authorized for use in the country. The pharmaceutical and other countries, such as Brazil, have asked the White House to share the immunizers. So far, Americans have lent 2.5 million doses to Mexico and 1.5 million to Canada.
While the US will have, in May, doses available to all residents over the age of 16, poor countries may take until 2024 to immunize the entire population.
At the IMF spring meeting, where government officials and investors meet, the fund’s director-general intends to show that unequal distribution is an obstacle to economic recovery.
“We need to do everything to expand vaccine production. Do not fight to share the vaccine pie available, but expand that pie and speed up distribution and vaccination so that anyone anywhere can have this vital protection against the vaccine,” he said. Kristalina.
The speech by the director-general of the IMF preceded a virtual panel with Aurélia Nguyen, representative of the Covax Facility consortium, which intends to enable the equitable distribution of vaccines against covid-19. She also called for countries that bought excess doses to share the immunizers with the consortium.
In a speech also on Monday at the State Department, the head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, promised greater engagement by the United States in international access to vaccines. “As we become more confident in our vaccine supply here at home, we explore options to share more with other countries in the future,” said Blinken. “We believe that we will be in a position to do much more on this front. I know that many countries are asking the United States to do more, some with growing despair. We are listening to you, and I promise that we are acting as quickly as possible,” said the State Secretary.
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