FILE PHOTO: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), speaks in Geneva, Switzerland, January 18, 2021. Christopher Black/WHO/Handout via REUTERS
April 6, 2021
GENEVA (Reuters) – It is a travesty that some countries still have not had enough access to vaccines to begin inoculating health workers and the most vulnerable people against COVID-19, the head of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.
“Scaling up production and equitable distribution remains the major barrier to ending the acute stage of the COVID-19 pandemic,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference.
“It’s a travesty that in some countries health workers and those at-risk groups remain completely unvaccinated.”
The president of Namibia, Hage Geingob, one of several world leaders invited to address the WHO news conference for World Health Day, decried “vaccine apartheid”, under which some countries were forced to wait while others received doses.
Geingob said Namibia had received vaccines from “our friends” India and China, but was still waiting for other vaccines despite having paid a deposit for them.
Tedros said Namibia would receive some vaccines from the WHO co-led COVAX programme in around two weeks.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, John Miller; Editing by Peter Graff and Timothy Heritage)