Video: W.H.O. Calls for End to ‘Two-Track Pandemic’ Response

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W.H.O. Calls for End to ‘Two-Track Pandemic’ Response

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organization, said on Monday that inequitable vaccine distribution has allowed coronavirus deaths to rise in low-income countries with less access, despite wider global declines.

Globally, we continue to see encouraging signs in the trajectory of the pandemic. The number of new cases of Covid-19 reported to W.H.O. has now declined for six weeks in a row. And deaths have declined for five weeks. However, we still see a mixed picture around the world. The number of deaths reported last week increased in three out of W.H.O.’s six regions: Africa, the Americas and the Western Pacific. Increasingly, we see a two-track pandemic. Many countries still face an extremely dangerous situation, while some of those with the highest vaccination rates are starting to talk about ending restrictions. The inequitable distribution of vaccines has allowed the virus to continue spreading, increasing the chances of a variant emerging that renders vaccines less effective. Six months since the first vaccines were administered, high-income countries have administered almost 44 percent of the world’s doses. Low-income countries have administered just 0.4 percent. The most frustrating thing about this statistic is that it hasn’t changed in months. At the World Health Assembly, I called for a massive global effort to vaccinate at least 10 percent of the population of all countries by September, and at least 30 percent by the end of the year. To reach these targets, we need an additional 250 million doses by September, and we need 100 million doses just in June and July.

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