Sun. May 16th, 2021

95% of Covid vaccines used by just 10 countries, says UNNEW DELHI: The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) has said that the World Health Organisation is struggling to raise $4 billion for securing Covid-19 vaccines for the low and middle-income countries. “It is a troubling situation that 95% of the vaccines that have been administered so far have been used in just 10 countries,” said Mami Mizutori, head of the UNDRR.

The UNDRR has urged rich nations to contribute generously, while pointing out how even during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which affected just 14 countries, more than $6 billion was raised.

As on January 20, 53.8 million vaccine doses have been administered across the world. The US leads with 16.5 million doses, followed by China at 15 million, UK (5 million), Israel (3 million), UAE (2.1 million) and Germany, Italy, Turkey, Spain and Russia, each having administered over a million to its population, according to Our World in Data, a Covid-vaccine monitor run by researchers from the Oxford University.

“The roll-out must start somewhere but low and middle-income countries with large exposed populations are being overlooked. I urge the international community to fund the COVAX initiative so that immunity is not the privilege of the few but the right of all,” Mizutori said. She expressed concern for the fact that not many countries are “as forthcoming in the generous way that we saw after the Indian Ocean tsunami which killed 2,28,000 people”.

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