WHO, UNICEF urge equitable vaccine distribution

Diplomatic Correspondent

12 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Wealthy countries should stop their “self-defeating” Covid-19 vaccine strategies and share their vaccines once they have jabbed their health workers and those most at risk, global health leaders have said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Unicef said that when countries have vaccinated their health and care workforce and their highest at-risk groups they should share their vaccines.

This would mean that other countries can do the same, they said.

Almost 130 countries – with a combined population of 2.5 billion people – are yet to deliver a single vaccine.

Meanwhile, of the 128 million jabs delivered so far, three-quarters of these have taken place in just 10 countries.

In a joint statement titled “In the Covid-19 vaccine race, we either win together or lose together”, Unicef executive director Henrietta Fore and WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “Of the 128 million vaccine doses administered so far, more than three-quarters of those vaccinations are in just 10 countries that account for 60 per cent of global GDP.