UN chief says world must vaccinate everyone to defeat pandemic

2022-01-18 09:40:44CGTN Editor : Zhao Li ECNS App Download
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

The world must vaccinate everyone against COVID-19 in order to defeat the pandemic, said the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Guterres made the remarks on Monday in his address to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Davos Agenda, held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The last two years have demonstrated a simple but brutal truth -- if we leave anyone behind, we leave everyone behind," said the United Nations Secretary-General.

"If we fail to vaccinate every person, we give rise to new variants that spread across borders and bring daily life and economies to a grinding halt."

Guterres' remarks come as the disparity between vaccinations in wealthy countries and those in lower income nations remains wide.

Last week, the World Health Organization's Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom said more than 9.4 billion vaccine doses had been administered globally. Thirty-six countries have however not yet vaccinated 10 percent of their populations, far below the agency's target of vaccinating at least 40 percent of their populations by end of 2021. The WHO has also set another target for countries to vaccinate at least 70 percent of their populations by mid-2022.

"We are nowhere near these targets," Guterres told the World Economic Forum.

"Vaccination rates in high-income countries are, shamefully, seven times higher than in African countries. We need vaccine equity, now," he added.

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