130 countries have not received single Covid-19 vaccine dose: UN

at 3:00 pm
UN Chief Guterres
Antonio Guterres (file photo)

New Delhi (NVI): United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has sharply criticised the wildly uneven and unfair distribution of Covid vaccines, and said that 130 countries had not yet received a single dose of vaccine.

The UN chief told a high-level meeting of the UN security council that only 10 countries have administered 75 per cent of all vaccinations and demanded a global effort to get all people in every country vaccinated as soon as possible.

“At this critical moment, vaccine equity is the biggest moral test before the global community,” he said.

Guterres called for an urgent global vaccination plan to bring together those with the power to ensure equitable vaccine distribution – scientists, vaccine producers and those who can fund the effort.

He urged the leading economic members of G20 to establish an emergency task force to bring together “the pharmaceutical companies and key industry and logistics actors”.

Earlier on Wednesday, US State Department Secretary Antony Blinken at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) had emphasised the need to expand access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines.

He also urged the countries to not allow usage of the vaccine as an excuse to violate human rights or fundamental freedoms.

The coronavirus has infected more than 109 million people and killed at least 2.4 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.