The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has described the inequitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines across the world as immoral and stupid.
The Secretary-General spoke at a press briefing which was hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO). At the press briefing, it was reiterated that the goal of the collaboration of the WHO and the UN was vaccinating 40% of every country’s population by the end of the year and 70% by the middle of 2022.
It was observed that vaccination rates across the world especially in developing countries have lagged behind the WHO’s targets of 10% at the end of September 2021.
What the UN Secretary-General is saying
The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated in his statement that less than 5% of Africa’s population has been fully vaccinated, while high – and upper-middle-income countries have used 75% of the shots produced so far.
According to the WHO DG, “Not to have equitable distribution of vaccines is not only a question of being immoral, it is also a question of being stupid”.
In Latin America and the Carribean however, 37% of the population have been fully vaccinated against the virus with at least 10 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean reporting vaccination rates of less than 25% as of Wednesday, and under 10% of people in Jamaica, Nicaragua and Haiti have received a full series of Covid doses.
Dr Guterres commented saying, “If we leave it going on and we allow for the virus to go on spreading like wildfire in the global south, there is a risk that one day, and that day can be very soon, there will be … another variant that will be able to resist vaccines.”
“And all the vaccination effort made in developed countries to vaccinate the whole of their population one, two, or three times, all that effort will fall apart, and these people will not be protected,” he added.
On Tuesday, WHO officials said that 56 countries, majority of which are in Africa, missed the organization’s goal of immunizing 10% of their populations against Covid by the end of September.
Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead for Covid has said that with the world approaching 5 million total Covid deaths, the lack of global vaccine access has resulted in people “dying unnecessarily.”
U.S. health officials in the U.S are of the opinion that unvaccinated people represent nearly all of the country’s Covid deaths. The CDC says that unvaccinated people are 4.5 times likelier to contract the virus and are 11 times likelier to die from Covid and ten times more likely to develop symptoms that require hospitalization.
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