UPDATE - Almost 75% Of World's COVID-19 Vaccines To Be Produced By 5 WTO Members In 2021

UPDATE - Almost 75% of World's COVID-19 Vaccines to Be Produced By 5 WTO Members in 2021

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 22nd July, 2021) Five member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO) alone will account for three quarters of the entire global output of COVID-19 vaccines this year, WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said on Wednesday.

"Production remains highly centralized - about 75% of this year's vaccines appear set to come from five WTO members - China, India, Germany, the United States, and France. And there is little transparency with regard to vaccine contracts or input markets, though the new COVAX marketplace should help match input demand with supply," Okonjo-Iweala stated at a high-level dialogue on "Expanding COVID-19 vaccine manufacture to promote equitable access."

Discriminatory access to vaccines is a root cause of the unequal recovery of the global economy, in which developed economies are rebounding quickly while the rest are lagging behind, she said.

"In June, 1.1 billion doses were administered worldwide 45% more than in May and more than double the total for April," Okonjo-Iweala stated, adding that only 0.24% of those 1.1 billion was used by low-income countries.

The lack of full transparency in vaccine supply deals is another reason for concern, according to the WTO chief.

"Estimates are that global production this year could reach 11 billion doses, provided new vaccines, such as Novavax and several others, secure regulatory approval. If production does reach 11 billion, it could help take care of global demand - in the absence of booster shot requirements," Okonjo-Iweala said.

On June 24, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that 11 billion doses is the amount necessary to vaccinate 75% of the global population against COVID-19.