The original idea behind Covax, the United Nations-backed global program to distribute vaccines fairly, was that all countries could acquire vaccines through that mechanism, including participating rich countries.
But most G7 countries decided to hold back after they began making bilateral agreements directly with pharmaceutical companies to secure their own vaccines.
The vast majority of covid vaccines have been used in high- or upper-middle-income countries. Africa accounts for only 2.6% of doses administered globally.
A group of charities, including Oxfam and UNAids, criticized Canada and the UK for procuring vaccines for their own populations through Covax.
Official figures show that earlier this year, the UK received 539,370 doses from Pfizer, while Canada took just under one million doses from AstraZeneca.
➡️ While overall vaccination �� coverage has reached 41% in Latin America and the Caribbean, surveillance will remain key to identifying new risks and responding to local infection hotspots.
Aylward called on rich countries to give up their places in the queue to buy vaccines so that pharmaceutical companies can prioritize lower-income countries.
He said rich countries need to "do an assessment" of where they stand on the donation commitments they made at summits such as the G7 meeting in the summer.
"I can tell you we are not on track," he said. "We really need to accelerate it (vaccine distribution) or you know what, this pandemic will last a year longer than it needs to."
The U.K. has delivered more than 10 million vaccines to countries in need and has pledged to give a total of 100 million.
The People's Vaccine alliance of charities has released new figures suggesting that only one in seven of the doses promised by pharmaceutical companies and rich countries are reaching their destinations in the poorest countries.