Covid vaccine inequity ‘completely unacceptable and unethical’

A panel convened by the World Health Organization to look at what lessons could be learnt from the Covid pandemic has recommended that high-income countries do more to help low-income countries.

Richer countries should give $19 billion to fund access to vaccines and treatments in poorer countries, and give 1 billion doses by September, The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response has said.

But so far the pledges from richer countries are “not big enough”, says the panel’s co-chair Helen Clark, and meanwhile under-vaccinated countries with Covid outbreaks are seeing spikes in death tolls.

Ms Clark, who is also the former prime minister of New Zealand, was speaking to the BBC’s Karishma Vaswani on the Newsday programme.