The head of the agency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the death toll from the disease is now at its lowest level in almost a year.
“Achieving 40% requires a government-wide and society-wide approach that depends on political leadership and civil society. We work with leaders to support the prioritization and planning needed to make 40% coverage a reality. “@DrTedros #VaccinEquity
– World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) October 13, 2021
“Mortality is declining in all regions except Europe, where several countries are facing new waves of cases and deaths. And, of course, mortality is highest in countries and populations with the least access to vaccines. ”
Tedros called for global cooperation. “Countries that are currently continuing to introduce booster vaccines are effectively discouraging other countries from vaccinating the most vulnerable populations,” he said.
There were over 238 million as of Wednesday. COVID-19 cases worldwide and more than 4.8 million deaths.
The WHO previously pushed governments to vaccinate 10 percent of their populations by the end of September – a target that was missed by 56 countries, most of them in Africa.
Tedros said more countries are at risk of falling short of the 40 percent target before the end of the year. Three countries – Burundi, Eritrea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – have not yet started vaccination.
“About half of the rest of the countries have limited supplies. They have a vaccination program, but they do not have enough vaccine to accelerate and reach the goal, ”he said.
Tedros urged countries and companies that control the global vaccine supply to prioritize vaccine distribution. COVAX the Solidarity Initiative; and the African Vaccine Procurement Fund (AVAT).
Meanwhile, WHO and partners are working with other countries, including those affected by instability or conflict, to strengthen the technical and logistical capacity to deploy the vaccine.
“With aggressive and ambitious action, most of these countries can still meet the 40% target by the end of this year, or be on a clear path to achieving it.”
Crisis in Tygra
Tedros also addressed the escalating crisis in northern Ethiopia, where nearly a year’s war in the Tigray region has left up to seven million people in dire need of food and other assistance.
The conflict has spread to neighboring Afar and Amhara, further increasing demand and making it difficult to respond. According to him, aid does not reach the district “at a level close to the necessary”, and communications, electricity and other basic services remain disconnected.
WHO and partners are calling for unhindered access to the affected regions as the lives of millions are at stake, Tedros told reporters.
“People with chronic diseases are dying due to lack of food and medicine. Almost 200,000 children were left without critical vaccinations, ”he said.
“When people don’t have enough food, they are more susceptible to fatal diseases, as well as the threat of hunger, and this is what we are now seeing in Tygra.”