No time for COVID-19 complacency, say key countries responsible for tracking global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments

Sept. 23, 2022
Tracking and accelerating progress to reach everyone, everywhere.

As the third UNGA of the COVID-19 pandemic reaches its conclusion, many countries are far from meeting global targets on vaccination coverage, testing rates, and access to treatments and PPE. The co-chairs of the ACT-Accelerator’s Council Tracking and Accelerating Progress working group warn that coordinated action, sustained political will and funding commitments are still needed, to save lives and combat the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

The group – co-chaired by Indonesia and the United States - is responsible for tracking progress toward the global COVID-19 targets for access to vaccines, diagnostics, treatments, and PPE, under the umbrella of the ACT-Accelerator equitable access partnership.

Ahead of several high-level events at the UNGA to take stock of progress, Indonesia’s Tri Tharyat and the United States’ Loyce Pace highlight that while progress is being made, the global threat of COVID-19 is far from over, particularly for high-risk groups in lower-income countries. According to the most recent Global COVID Access Tracker data, around a quarter of those most vulnerable globally still need a primary COVID-19 vaccination series (24% of elderly persons and 26% of health workers).  

The Working Group notes with concern:

  • COVID-19 vaccination rates in low-income countries stand at 19%, compared to almost 75% in high-income countries.
  • Low income and lower-middle income countries are still far from the 100 tests per 100k population per day target; low-income countries are testing at a rate of just 2/100k population, while lower-middle income countries are at 22/100k population.
  • The roll-out of new lifesaving COVID-19 treatments including oral antivirals in low and lower-middle income countries remains limited or non-existent.
  • Equitable access to these COVID-19 countermeasures and preparation for the delivery is critical for countries to integrate the management of the virus into their primary health systems, as part of a longer-term strategy.

WHO release