WHO has urged leaders attending the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to guarantee equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and other life-saving tools; ensure the world is better prepared to respond to future pandemics and renew efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The health organization noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed the lives of nearly 5 million people around the globe, and the virus continues to circulate actively in all regions of the world.
It said that vaccines are the most critical tool to end the pandemic and save lives and livelihoods.
More than 5.7 billion vaccine doses have been administered globally, but 73% of all doses have been administered in just 10 countries.
WHO also noted that high-income countries have administered 61 times more doses per inhabitant than low-income countries.
It posited that the longer vaccine inequity persists, the more the virus will keep circulating and evolving, and the longer the social and economic disruption will continue.
WHO’s targets are to vaccinate at least 40% of the population of every country by the end of this year, and 70% by the middle of next year. These targets are achievable if countries and manufacturers make a genuine commitment to vaccine equity.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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