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WHO Director Denounces ‘Grotesque’ Vaccine Inequity That Punishes Poor Nations

March 23 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Speaking yesterday at the World Health Organization’s (WHO) daily press conference in Geneva, WHO Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus once again exposed the widening vaccine gap between rich and poor countries. This is a situation, he said, that is “becoming more grotesque every day,” if the number of vaccines administered in rich countries is compared with those distributed through the UN’s COVAX mechanism, for example. In his remarks yesterday, Dr. Tedros opened by recalling: “In January, I said that the world was on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure unless urgent steps were taken to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines. We have the means to avert this failure, but it’s shocking how little has been done to avert it.”

The WHO director further exposed that wealthier countries are now vaccinating younger, healthy people at low risk of disease, at the expense of healthcare workers, seniors, and other at-risk groups in poorer countries. “The inequitable distribution of vaccines is not just a moral outrage. It’s also economically and epidemiologically self-defeating,” he charged. Racing to vaccinate entire populations yields a false sense of security: “The more transmission, the more variants; and the more variants that emerge, the more likely it is that they will evade vaccines,” he warned. “And as long as the virus continues to circulate anywhere, people will continue to die, trade and travel will continue to be disrupted, and the economic recovery will be further delayed.”

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