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Health workers, Elderly citizens must be vaccinated first: Dr Tedros

Geneva: Terming the development and approval of COVID vaccines less than a year after the emergence of Novel Coronavirus as a ‘stunning scientific achievement’, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday expressed it’s concern over the ‘distribution of the vaccine between the poor and rich counties’.

Addressing the 148th Executive Board Meeting, virtually from the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, ‘We will have enough vaccine. But at present, we must work together as one global family to prioritise those most at risk of severe diseases and death across the world.’

Ghebreyesus said it was not right that the youth, healthier adults in rich countries were being vaccinated, even before the health staff and old people in poorer countries could receive the vaccine.

‘The recent emergence of rapidly-spreading variants makes the rapid and equitable rollout of vaccines all the more important. But, we now face the real danger that even as vaccines bring hope to some, they become another brick in the wall of inequality between the world’s haves and have-nots,’ he added.

According to Mr Ghebreyesus, ‘More than 39 million doses of vaccine have now been administered in at least 49 higher-income countries. Just 25 doses have been given in one lowest-income country.

‘I need to be blunt: the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure – and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries,’ he warned.

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