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To reduce scandalous disparity,WHO sets new vaccination targets for the world's poorest people

vaccine makers provide COVAX first refusal on new vaccination volumes or commit 50% of their vaccine quantities to COVAX this year
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus/=. The 55-year-old former Ethiopian foreign minister has been at the forefront of the United Nations health agency's efforts to battle the pandemic [Fil

WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said on Monday  said that the COVID-19 pandemic is being fueled by "scandalous inequity" in vaccine distribution, as he established new goals for protecting people in the world's poorest countries.

No country, no matter its vaccination rate, should consider it is out of the woods as long as the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants proliferate elsewhere, according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Tedros said "the world remains in a very dangerous situation," at the opening of the annual meeting of the 194 member states' health ministers.

"As of today, more cases have been reported so far this year than in the whole of 2020. On current trends, the number of deaths will overtake last year's total within the next three weeks. This is very tragic," he said.

He claimed that only ten countries had administered more than 75% of all vaccinations.

"There is no diplomatic way to say it: a small group of countries that make and buy the majority of the world’s vaccines control the fate of the rest of the world."

Since February, the COVAX facility, administered by WHO and the GAVI vaccination alliance, has provided 72 million vaccine doses to 125 nations and economies, only enough for 1% of their populations, according to Tedros.

He asked countries to donate vaccine doses to COVAX so that 10% of the world's population may be immunized by September and 30% by the end of the year. According to him, this meant vaccination 250 million extra individuals in just four months.

"This is crucial to stop disease and death, keep our healthcare workers safe, reopen our societies and economies," Tedros said.

Tedros also demanded that vaccine makers provide COVAX first refusal on new vaccination volumes or commit 50% of their vaccine quantities to COVAX this year.

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has urged for the WHO to be given the authority to visit countries quickly in the event of outbreaks having the potential to spread a pandemic, as well as to access data.

In separate pre-recorded statements to the assembly, Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for increased funding for the UN agency and backed the notion of a new worldwide treaty to combat pandemics.

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