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24 May, 2021 14:15

WHO boss blasts ‘scandalous inequity’ in Covid jab sharing, demands global commitment to inoculate 10% of each nation by September

WHO boss blasts ‘scandalous inequity’ in Covid jab sharing, demands global commitment to inoculate 10% of each nation by September

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has called on nations to commit to global efforts to inoculate the world’s poorest and more vulnerable against Covid-19, as he blasted “scandalous inequity” in vaccine distribution.

Speaking on Monday during the WHO’s annual ministerial assembly, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the pandemic was being perpetuated by “scandalous inequity” in vaccine distribution. 

He urged the WHO's 194 member states and drug makers to support a drive that would see at least 10% of populations of all countries inoculated by September, and 30% by year-end. 

Ghebreyesus said that Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers should commit to giving 50% of their volumes to COVAX, the global vaccine-sharing initiative, this year, or give COVAX first refusal on new batches. 

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Following up on previous comments in which he said it was morally wrong to vaccinate children in rich countries before the vulnerable – including healthcare professionals, in poor nations – Ghebreyesus said at least 115,000 health and care workers had died from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. 

“For almost 18 months, health and care workers all over the world have stood in the breach between life and death,” he stated.

The latest figures suggest that a third of people in the EU have received at least one dose – that’s double the average across South America (15%), and 20 times more than in Africa (1.5%). In the UK, 72% of adults have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

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