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World is 'on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure' with vaccines: WHO chief

January 18, 2021
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

GENEVA — As countries across the world roll out millions of coronavirus vaccines, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) gave a frank warning about the fairness of the global situation.

"The world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure" in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday, adding that "the promise of equitable access is at serious risk."

"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. Not 25 million; not 25 thousand; just 25," Tedros said at the opening of the WHO's executive board meeting.

"I need to be blunt... the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries," he added.

"Ultimately, these actions will only prolong the pandemic, the restrictions needed to contain it, and human and economic suffering," Tedros warned.

The WHO chief added that "vaccine equity is not just a moral imperative, it is a strategic and economic imperative," and called for a fairer vaccine distribution across the world. — Courtesy CNN


January 18, 2021
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