WHO chief decries 'shocking' vaccine imbalance

A Buddhist monk waits to receive a dose of the Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine at Nak Prok Temple in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, April 9, 2021. Photo: AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit. A Buddhist monk waits to receive a dose of the Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine at Nak Prok Temple in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, April 9, 2021.

The Associated Press
Created: April 09, 2021 09:31 AM

The head of the World Health Organization said that over 87% of the more than 700 million doses of coronavirus vaccine that have been administered worldwide have been given in wealthier countries.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that on average, one in four people in rich countries have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to only one in 500 people in low-income countries.

"There remains a shocking imbalance in the global distribution of vaccines," Tedros said during a media briefing Friday.

He called COVAX, the U.N.-backed initiative to distribute vaccines fairly, "a strong mechanism that can deliver vaccines faster and more efficiently than any other mechanism." He noted that COVAX so far has delivered about 38 million doses worldwide, or enough to cover about 0.25% of the global population.


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