Unequal COVID jabs roll-out immoral, stupid: UN...

Dhaka, Tuesday   26 October 2021

Unequal COVID jabs roll-out immoral, stupid: UN

 International Desk daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 12:35 PM, 8 October 2021   Updated: 03:43 PM, 8 October 2021

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks alongside WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in February; Photo: Reuters, File Photo

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks alongside WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in February; Photo: Reuters, File Photo

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres branded rich nations’ vaccine hogging as “immoral and stupid”, ‍saying that the choking off poorer countries’ access to jabs risked undermining their own defenses against the pandemic.

“Vaccine inequality is aiding and abetting the Covid-19 pandemic,” Guterres told a virtual press conference on Thursday alongside World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“It is allowing variants to develop and run wild, condemning the world to millions of more deaths, and prolonging an economic slowdown that could cost trillions of dollars,” he said.

Guterres said that if the virus spread in areas with few vaccinated people, the greater the chances of a variant emerging that could become “resistant to vaccines”.

“All the vaccination effort made in developed countries to vaccinate the whole of the population, one, two or three times -- all that effort will fall apart. And these people will not be protected. So not to have equitable distribution of vaccines is not only a question of being immoral: it is also a question of being stupid,” Guterres added.

Meanwhile, the WHO said every country that had fully vaccinate more than 40 percent of its population was doing “too little” to stop the Covid-19 crisis, as they should be ensuring doses go to nations left wide open to the virus.

The WHO wanted 10 percent of the population in every country fully jabbed by the end of September -- a target missed in 56 countries, “through no fault of their own”, said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The UN health agency said 1.5 billion vaccine doses were now being manufactured every month -- with less than one week’s production needed to reach the 10 percent target. – AFP.

DailyBangladesh/AS