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World facing ‘catastrophic’ moral failure on vaccines — WHO chief

The world is on the “brink of a catastrophic moral failure” if rich countries hog COVID-19 vaccine doses while the poorest suffer, the head of the WHO says.

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus denounces the “me-first” attitude of wealthy nations and also blasts vaccine manufacturers for chasing regulatory approval in rich countries rather than submitting their data to the WHO to green-light vaccine use globally.

He says the promise of worldwide equitable access to vaccines against the coronavirus pandemic is now at serious risk, in a speech in Geneva opening a WHO executive board meeting.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a press conference at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva on June 25, 2020. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP)

Tedros says 39 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered so far in at least 49 higher income countries.

Meanwhile, “just 25 doses have been given in one lowest income country. Not 25 million; not 25,000; just 25,” he says

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