WHO Urges Countries to Donate to COVAXBy Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Tue, 05/18/2021 - 10:27
The WHO is urging countries to donate their vaccines to the COVAX initiative instead of vaccinating their youth reported UN News. “In a handful of rich countries, which bought up the majority of the vaccine supply, lower-risk groups are now being vaccinated,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, according to UN News. “I understand why some countries want to vaccinate their children and adolescents, but right now I urge them to reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to COVAX.”
Adhanom Ghebreyesus explains that vaccine supply has been rather low for lower and middle-income countries, leaving them unable to fully immunize their health workers. Meanwhile, more developed nations with larger vaccine supplies are vaccinating citizens deemed lower risk. “Trickle-down vaccination is not an effective strategy for fighting a deadly respiratory virus,” he said. India’s case is particularly concerning to him as the WHO has already deemed India’s COVID-19 variant to be of global concern.
What about Mexico?
According to Our World in Data, Mexico has applied at least one vaccine dose to 23.3 million people as of May 17. The country’s vaccination strategy prioritized people over the age of 60, health workers and, more recently, teachers. Last week, the government announced that it would also prioritize pregnant women as part of the country’s vaccination strategy, as reported by the Ministry of Health. Pregnant women on their ninth week of gestation will now be given priority given the scientific evidence that infection during pregnancy increases the risk for complications and death, reported the Director-General of the National Center for Prevention and Control Programs of Diseases (CENAPRECE), Ruy López Ridaura. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 that could lead to preterm birth, hospitalization, intensive care, need of a ventilator or special equipment to breathe, and even death.
According to López Ridaura, pregnant women can receive any vaccine available as all of them are safe for both them and the fetus. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that “there are currently limited data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people.” The Center does explain that “based on how the vaccines work in the body, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a risk for people who are pregnant.” There have also been studies conducted on pregnant animals which found that the vaccines did not hurt the animals nor their offspring.