Published: 2021-04-13 21:24
Last Updated: 2021-05-07 20:21
The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed Tuesday a "shocking deficiency" in the global distribution of vaccines, as more than 700 million vaccine doses were administered worldwide, more than 87 percent of which went to high-income or upper-middle-income countries, while low-income countries received 0.2 percent of vaccines.
The United Nations News Center quoted Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, as saying at the regular press conference from Geneva Friday, that on average in high-income countries, one out of every four people received a vaccine, while in low-income countries, only one person out of more than 500 have received the vaccine.
He added that the scarcity of supplies is the driver behind vaccine nationalism and vaccine diplomacy.
In regards to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the WHO confirmed that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks of its "very rare" side effects.
Tedros said that all vaccines and medicines carry risks of side effects, and in this case, the risks of severe illness and death from COVID-19 are several times higher than the very few risks related to the vaccine.
A WHO spokesperson, Margaret Harris, said that the world is facing a "serious shortage" of vaccines, which made many countries postpone the start of vaccination campaigns.
Additionally, Harris warned that the rise in infections and deaths in all regions around the world is partly due to the "changing virus" and due to countries ending their lockdowns.