The World Health Organization’s ((WHO)) European chief says 95% of the 23.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines that have been administered around the world so far have been given out in just 10 countries.
At a Copenhagen news briefing Thursday, WHO Europe Director Hans Kluge voiced perhaps the health agency’s most recurring theme of the COVID-19 pandemic:  To effectively stop the virus, the world’s vaccines must be shared equitably, with low-income nations as well as poor ones.
In the global effort to end the pandemic, Kluge said, “collectively, we simply cannot afford to leave any country, any community behind.” The WHO and its partners in the COVAX cooperative, he added, are making “huge efforts to get the vaccines into every country; we need every country capable of contributing, donating and supporting equitable access and deployment of the vaccines, to do so.”
WHO Public Health Specialist Ihor Perehinets joined Kluge at the news conference and expressed confidence that those who need vaccines will get them.
“The scope and availability of vaccines will increase at a rapid rate in all countries and we will reach the necessary level of immunity to protect not just vulnerable groups, but the whole population of the European region and the world,” he said. “The question isn’t if this will happen, but when.”
Kluge said public health measures designed to fight the pandemic must be based on what he called humanity’s “core values:” solidarity, equity and social justice.
“It is the only way out of these uncertain times because no one is safe until everyone is safe.”
 

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