Covid-19 vaccines
World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus.

The World Health Organization is calling for vaccination of at least 10 per cent of the population of every country against Covid-19 by September.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is also urging the rich countries to support the push to vaccinate at least 250 million people in the low- and middle-income countries in the next four months.

Speaking at the 74th World Health Assembly, the WHO boss said the current distribution of coronavirus vaccines is a “scandalous inequity,” noting that over 75 per cent of all shots are being administered in 10 countries only.

“I am calling on member states to support a massive push to vaccinate at least 10 per cent of the population of every country by September, and a drive to December to achieve our goal of vaccinating at least 30 per cent,” he said.

Read also: Kenya eyes 72,000 AstraZeneca doses surrendered by South Sudan due to slow uptake

The Director-General also raised the concern regarding countries already vaccinating children and other low-risk groups saying such authorities are doing so at the expense of health workers and high-risk groups in low and middle income nations.

The WHO chief asked countries to share their doses to COVAX and get the vaccines moving by early June in order to reach the vaccination targets.

“Several manufacturers have said they have the capacity to produce vaccines if the originator companies are willing to share licenses, technology, and know-how. I find it difficult to understand why this has not happened yet,” he said.

According to latest data from WHO only 65 countries and territories have fully vaccinated over 10 per cent of their population while a total of 39 countries have vaccinated only less than 1 per cent of their populations.

COVAX, on the other hand, has shipped 72 million doses to 125 countries and territories.

The European Union plans to donate 100 million doses by the end of the year, including 30 million each from France and Germany, as well as 15 million from Italy.

Previously, the European Commission unveiled an initiative worth $1.2 billion on manufacturing and access to vaccines, medicines, and health technologies in Africa, with BioNTech, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna jointly pledging 1.3 billion doses to low-income countries at no profit and to middle-income countries at lower prices by December.

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