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Low-income nations receive 0.2 pc of 700m COVID jabs given globally: WHO

10 Apr 2021 11:40:40 | Update: 10 Apr 2021 19:38:11
Low-income nations receive 0.2 pc of 700m COVID jabs given globally: WHO

The World Health Organisation has said that low-income countries have just received only 0.2 percent of the total COVID-19 jabs globally as more than 700 million vaccine doses have been administered across the world.

The vast majority of COVID-19 vaccines administered so far have gone to wealthy nations, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

“There remains a shocking imbalance in the global distribution of vaccines," WHO chief Tedros Adhanonom Ghebreyesus told reporters at the agency’s regular briefing from Geneva. 

“On average in high-income countries, almost one in four people has received a vaccine. In low-income countries, it’s one in more than 500.  Let me repeat that: one in four versus one in 500," the UN News quoted him as saying.

Bilateral deals hurt COVAX

The global solidarity initiative, COVAX, has also experienced a shortage of vaccines.  While the mechanism has distributed some 38 million doses so far, it was expected to deliver nearly 100 million by the end of March.

“The problem is not getting vaccines out of COVAX; the problem is getting them in," he said.

“We understand that some countries and companies plan to do their own bilateral vaccine donations, bypassing COVAX for their own political or commercial reasons. These bilateral arrangements run the risk of fanning the flames of vaccine inequity.”