Before vaccinating young people it is best to donate doses. The WHO appeal

Before vaccinating young people it is best to donate doses. The WHO appeal

The Covax program for the fair distribution of vaccines is overdue, and calls to donate doses of vaccines multiply. The WHO has asked to reconsider, in this perspective, vaccinations for young people

(Photo: Mufid Majnun on Unsplash) Vaccines and young people, the time has come to discuss them. In fact, if until a few months ago it was still considered premature, waiting for vaccines suitable for the very young to arrive, now not anymore. In the US, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has received authorization for emergency use also for adolescents, and it is reasonable to think that Moderna will have the same fate, after the announcement of the efficacy results even in the very young. Realistically, sooner or later, the same will happen in Europe too. But the debate on how right and appropriate it is now to vaccinate even the youngest - pending new authorizations, vaccination tests among young people are already underway, as well as the initiative to open to high school graduates in Lazio in early June - continues.

The World Health Organization had done so in recent days by inviting countries to donate doses of vaccines rather than proceed with the administration in the youngest groups, through the mouth of its number one, the director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus . The invitation was to donate through Covax, the program for the fair distribution of vaccines to the poorest countries. An ambitious initiative undermined by many critical issues, as we said, from the lack of funds to the availability of vaccines.

So much so that the doses currently distributed through the program amount to just over 70 million: about 100 million less than they should have been, reported UNICEF, the project's operational partner. "I understand why some countries want to vaccinate their children and adolescents, but I urge them to rethink and instead donate vaccines to Covax - asked Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus - because in low and middle-income countries, the provision of anti-Covid vaccines is not It wasn't even enough to immunize health workers and caregivers, and hospitals have been inundated with people in need of life-saving care. "

To worsen the situation was the terrible wave of Covid-19 that hit India which blocked the country's exports of vaccines destined for the program. But not only this: Henrietta Fore, executive director of Unicef, recalled how vaccine nationalism, underfunding and reduced production capacities are threats that risk slowing down the program further. The G7 countries and those of the European Union could donate more than 150 million vaccines this summer, without substantially affecting their vaccination campaigns, Fore added.

Some answers seem to have arrived: the US has announced its intention to donate 80 million doses, and from Europe the commitment has arrived to donate 100 million vaccines within the year, especially through the Covax program, despite not having hidden among its priorities that of vaccinate young people and children, as soon as possible. We'll see how the situation evolves.

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