Wealthy countries should quickly give 4 or 5 per cent of their Covid-19 vaccines to poorer ones, French President Emmanuel Macron said, throwing his weight behind World Health Organization (WHO) proposals.
In an interview with the Financial Times newspaper that was published on Thursday, Macron said that he had discussed the idea with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and that she supported the plan.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has repeatedly asked developed countries to donate shots to the rest of the world.
“That is in the interest of all countries, because we can drive out this virus sooner, and that will help us in faster economic recovery,” Tedros told a press conference in Geneva.
The WHO has been critical of the fact that a few rich countries are already immunizing their general population, while health workers and elderly people in a vast number of poorer countries are still waiting for their first shots.
Setting aside small shares would not hamper national immunization campaigns in rich countries, but it would quickly make tens of millions of doses available for others, Macron argued.
The French leader said some countries had already started shipping vaccines abroad to gain political influence. “You can see the Chinese strategy, and the Russian strategy too,” he said, referring to vaccines that have been developed in these two countries.