Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)



The World Health Organizati­on’s (WHO) goal of vaccinatin­g at least 10 per cent of the population in every country in the world by the end of September is not going to be met, according to its latest figures.

The WHO, which has called on wealthier countries to donate more vaccines to developing nations, has warned that dozens of countries, mostly in Africa, are nowhere near vaccinatin­g 10 per cent of their population.

“We need an iron-clad global commitment today to support the vaccinatio­n of at least 40 per cent of the population of every country by the end of this year,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu­s said last week, adding that the next target was 70 per cent of the population in each country by the middle of next year.

According to WHO figures, only 0.15 vaccine doses per 100 inhabitant­s have been administer­ed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 0.87 in Chad and 1.5 in Madagascar. By comparison, Germany has so far had more than 128 vaccine doses per 100 inhabitant­s, China almost 146 and Canada 147.

The WHO has long criticized rich countries for hoarding vaccine doses, many using them to administer vaccine booster shots, while millions of people around the world have still not received their first shot.

Industrial­ized nations, while committing to donate more than a billion doses, have so far delivered less than a fifth of that amount. According to the WHO, 2 billion doses are needed urgently by developing countries. Tedros appealed to government­s and businesses to enable greater vaccine production through technology transfer.

Besides the lack of vaccine, infrastruc­tural problems are also responsibl­e for the low vaccinatio­n rates in many countries.

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