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If We End Vaccine Inequity, We Can End COVID-19 Pandemic: WHO Chief

"We need all countries to work together to reach the global target of vaccinating 70 per cent of people in all countries by the middle of 2022," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, he is optimistic that the Covid-19 pandemic will end in 2022, if inequity ends. Hitting on countries over vaccine hoarding amid rising cases, the WHO chief said that narrow nationalism and vaccine hoarding by some countries have undermined equity, and created the ideal conditions for the emergence of the Omicron variant. “The longer inequity continues, the higher the risks of this virus evolving in ways we can’t prevent or predict,” Ghebreyesus said.

Highlighting that Covid-19 is not the only health threat the world’s people will face in 2022, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that millions of people have missed out on routine vaccination, services for family planning, and treatment for communicable and non-communicable diseases.

The WHO DG further emphasised to prepare the world for future epidemics and pandemics. “We established the new WHO BioHub System for countries to share novel biological materials,” he said.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also expressed worry over the new cases that he’s worried about the omicron and delta variants of COVID-19 producing a “tsunami” of cases between them. First reported last month in South Africa, Omnicron is already the dominant variant in the United States and parts of Europe. He urged all countries to invest in stronger primary healthcare. “Covid-19 has demonstrated that when health is at risk, everything is at risk,” he said.

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