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High, upper-middle countries with 53 pc population received 83 pc world’s vaccine: WHO chief

Highlighting the inequality in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu on Monday informed that High and upper-middle countries represent 53 per cent of the world’s population

Highlighting the inequality in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu on Monday informed that High and upper-middle countries represent 53 per cent of the world’s population but have received 83 per cent of the world’s vaccine.

“High and upper-middle countries represent 53 per cent of the world’s population but have received 83 per cent of the world’s vaccine. By contrast, low and lower-middle income countries account for 47 per cent but have received just 17 per cent of the world’s vaccine,” said WHO chief during a press briefing.

“Public health capacities must be strengthened to prepare for the possibility of vaccine evading variants and for future emergencies,” he added.

This comes as the WHO on Monday said that the coronavirus variant first identified in India last year was being classified as a variant of global concern, with some preliminary studies showing that it spreads more easily.

“We are classifying this as a variant of concern at a global level,” Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead on COVID-19, told a briefing. The B.1.617 variant is the fourth variant to be designated as being of “global concern”.

Meanwhile, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw Executive Chairperson of Biocon Limited, Asia’s leading Biopharmaceuticals enterprise expressed concern over the “short supply” of vaccines in India.

“Very concerned about why vaccines are in such short supply. Can we please know where the 70 million doses are being deployed every month? @MoHFW_INDIA. We need better transparency to avoid suspense. If a timetable of supplies is made public people can patiently wait their turn,” Mazumdar tweeted.

India reported 3,29,942 new COVID-19 cases, and 3,876 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry. (ANI)

First Published: 11th May, 2021 15:13 IST

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