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WHO chief lambasts vaccine profits, demands elderly go first

WHO chief lambasts vaccine profits, demands elderly go first
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WHO chief lambasts vaccine profits, demands elderly go first

Highlights

The World Health Organisation chief lambasted drugmakers' profits and vaccine inequalities, saying it's "not right" that younger, healthier adults in wealthy countries get vaccinated against COVID-19 before older people or health care workers in poorer countries and charging that most vaccine makers have targeted locations where "profits are highest"

London: The World Health Organisation chief lambasted drugmakers' profits and vaccine inequalities, saying it's "not right" that younger, healthier adults in wealthy countries get vaccinated against COVID-19 before older people or health care workers in poorer countries and charging that most vaccine makers have targeted locations where "profits are highest".

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus kicked off WHO's week-long executive board meeting -- virtually from its headquarters in Geneva -- by lamenting that one poor country received a mere 25 vaccine doses while over 39 million doses have been administered in nearly 50 richer nations.

"Just 25 doses have been given in one lowest income country -- not 25 million, not 25,000 -- just 25. I need to be blunt: The world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure," Tedros said. He did not specify the country, but a WHO spokeswoman identified it as Guinea.

"It's right that all governments want to prioritise vaccinating their own health workers and older people first," he said. "But it's not right that younger, healthier adults in rich countries are vaccinated before health workers and older people in poorer countries." said Tedros.

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