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WHO warns against unequal COVID-19 vaccine distribution; says ‘world is on brink of catastrophic moral failure’

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Amid COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in several countries, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Monday, questioned the fairness in distribution of vaccines between the higher-income countries and the lower-income countries, adding that the world was on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure.

 

More than 39 million doses of vaccine have now been administered in at least 49 higher-income countries. Just 25 doses have been given in one lowest-income country. Not 25 million; not 25 thousand; just 25, Dr Tedros said during his opening remarks at 148th session of the WHOs executive board.

 

I need to be blunt, the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure, and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries, he added.

 

Speaking on poor countries failing to receive vaccinations during pandemic, Dr Tedros said, ₹40 years ago, a new virus emerged and sparked a pandemic. Life-saving medicines were developed, but more than a decade passed before the world’s poor got access to them.

 

₹12 years ago, a new virus emerged and sparked a pandemic. Life saving vaccines were developed, but by the time the world’s poor got access, the pandemic was over. One year ago, a new virus emerged and sparked a pandemic. Life-saving vaccines have been developed. What happens next is up to us.

 

We have an opportunity to beat history; to write a different story; to avoid the mistakes of the HIV and H1N1 pandemics.

 

The recent emergence of rapidly-spreading variants makes the rapid and equitable rollout of vaccines all the more important. But we now face the real danger that even as vaccines bring hope to some, they become another brick in the wall of inequality between the world’s haves and have-nots.

 

It’s right that all governments want to prioritize vaccinating their own health workers and older people first. But it’s not right that younger, healthier adults in rich countries are vaccinated before health workers and older people in poorer countries.

 

There will be enough vaccine for everyone. But right now, we must work together as one global family to prioritize those most at risk of severe diseases and death, in all countries.

 

?But in recent weeks I have heard from several Member States who have questioned whether COVAX will get the vaccines it needs, and whether high-income countries will keep the promises they have made. As the first vaccines begin to be deployed, the promise of equitable access is at serious risk, he said.

 

Providing a solution to the unequitable access Dr Tedros said, Together, we must change the rules of the game, in three ways. First, we call on countries with bilateral contracts, and control of supply, to be transparent on these contracts with COVAX, including on volumes, pricing and delivery dates.

 

We call on these countries to give much greater priority to COVAXs place in the queue, and to share their own doses with COVAX, especially once they have vaccinated their own health workers and older populations, so that other countries can do the same.

 

Second, we call on vaccine producers to provide WHO with full data for regulatory review in real time, to accelerate approvals. We also call on producers to allow countries with bilateral contracts to share doses with COVAX, and to prioritize supplying COVAX rather than new bilateral deals, he said.

 

 

And third, we call on all countries introducing vaccines to only use vaccines that meet rigorous international standards for safety, efficacy and quality, and to accelerate readiness for deployment, he added. 

 

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Daily Updates

Active COVID cases near 30,000 mark in Nagpur

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Radhika Dhawad | Nagpur


Nagpur’s COVID-19 tally, on Tuesday, January 25, reached 5,43,064 (till 5 pm) as 4028 (972 from rural and 2956 from city) new cases were recorded in a single day. 

Also, active COVID cases, as on Tuesday, could be seen inching closer to 30,000 mark in the district.

Six people lost their lives (one from rural and five from city) on Tuesday. Till now, 10,183 people have lost their lives due to COVID-19 in the district. Total tests taken were 11,377.
While patients who recovered on Tuesday were 2519, the total number of recovered patients stood at 503729.

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Nagpur reports 90 COVID cases in past 24 hours

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Radhika Dhawad | Nagpur

Nagpur’s COVID-19 tally on Sunday, January 2 reached 4,94,193 (till 5 pm) as 90 (73 city, nine rural) more people tested positive for the virus. 

Also, five patients recovered on Sunday taking the number of recoveries to 4,83,664. 

Till now, 10123 people have lost their lives due to COVID in the district. As of now, there are 406 active COVID patients in the district. 

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ALARMING! Nagpur reports 88 COVID cases in past 24 hours

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Radhika Dhawad | Nagpur


Nagpur registered 88 (81 from city) new COVID-19 positive cases on Friday, December 31. Nagpur previously had recorded as minimum as six cases on December 24. 

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