World Health Organization (WHO) spokeswoman Margaret Harris said she is urging countries to suspend domestic vaccinations once their health workers and vulnerable groups have been vaccinated. This is “morally” and “economically” the right thing, and because “rollout” is required is fair “all over the world.
She told BBC Breakfast: “We are asking countries once you have these groups please ensure that the supplies you have access to are provided to others.
“While this is clearly the right thing morally, it is also the right thing economically.
“There was a lot of very interesting analysis that showed that if you just vaccinate your own country and then sit there and say we’re fine, it doesn’t work economically.”
“This phrase ‘nobody is an island’ also applies economically.
“We in the world are so connected, and if we don’t get all societies back to work effectively, every society will be financially affected.”
When asked if the UK, once vaccinated in the top nine priority groups, should support efforts elsewhere instead of continuing its own vaccinations, Ms Harris told BBC Breakfast: “We are asking all countries to do so in these circumstances do wait for these other groups.
“We’re going to be addressing everyone in the UK too – you can wait.
“Also, what is going to save lives right now is going to decrease your transmission, and what is reducing your transmission at this stage is not a vaccine that will take a while to start.”
“What will affect your broadcast are the things you are all working very hard on: limiting physical distance, limiting gatherings, ensuring good ventilation, wearing the masks where you need them, and identification every person who is it is truly self-isolated infected … all of these things really work, there are many countries that have effectively implemented them and made them work, and that is exactly what we must all do.
“Instead of rushing to vaccinate a country, we have to do a lot and do it together.”
Ms. Harris added that “we are in an exceptional position” after labeling several approved vaccines as “public health emergencies” a year after the WHO approved the spread of the coronavirus.