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WHO Says Low And Lower-middle Income Nations Received Only 17% Of World's COVID Vaccines

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on May 10 revealed grim statistics regarding COVID-19 vaccine disparity in the world amid the pandemic.

Image credits: PTI/AP

Image credits: PTI/AP


The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on May 10 revealed grim statistics regarding COVID-19 vaccine disparity in the world. He said that even though the low and lower-middle-income countries account for at least 47% of the entire population of the world, these nations have only received just 17% of the world’s coronavirus jabs. In contracts, the WHO chief also said that the high and upper-middle-income countries represent 53% of the world’s population but received 83% of the global stock of the much-needed COVID-19 vaccines. 

According to him, the “shocking global disparity” in vaccine access is “one of the biggest risks” to end the pandemic. Sounding alarmed on the situation of COVID-19 vaccines while many nations are still tackling the second wave of the outbreak, the WHO chief noted that “we cannot put all our eggs in one basket.” He said that all diseases require a combination of vaccines and public health measures including COVID-19.

WHO chief said, “But the shocking global disparity in access to vaccines remains one of the biggest risks to ending the pandemic. High- and upper-middle income countries represent 53% of the world’s population, but have received 83% of the world’s vaccines.”

“By contrast, low- and lower-middle income countries account for 47% of the world’s population, but have received just 17% of the world’s vaccines. Redressing this global imbalance is an essential part of the solution, but not the only part, and not an immediate solution. We cannot put all our eggs in one basket,” he added.

Rich nations had acquired 'more than half' promised doses

WHO chief’s remarks came after a report last year in September had already flagged the uneven acquisition of the promised COVID-19 vaccine doses. A report by an international anti-poverty nonprofit Oxfam revealed on September 17, 2020, that rich nations including the United States, UK and Japan that represent only 13 per cent of the world’s population have already acquired 51 per cent of the promised doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidates. In an alarming revelation, Oxfam said in its report, “Even in the extremely unlikely event that all five vaccines succeed, nearly two thirds (61 per cent) of the world’s population will not have a vaccine until at least 2022.”

IMAGE: PTI/AP

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