Demand for Covid-19 vaccines still lacking in some countries

Despite the availability of Covid-19 vaccines on a global scale, demand for the same is still lacking in some countries, something which is a major setback in the fight against the pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Wednesday.

This is, however, happening at a time when Covid-19 cases and deaths are on the decline.

Briefing the media on Covid-19 yesterday, WHO director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said globally, there was not enough testing, and vaccination.

“Vaccine supply is now sufficient, but demand in many countries with the lowest vaccination rates is lacking,” decried the WHO chief.

“On average, about three-quarters of health workers and people aged over 60 globally have been vaccinated. But these rates are much lower in low-income countries. Almost 18 months since the first vaccine was administered, 68 countries have still not achieved 40 percent coverage.”

Ghebreyesus said WHO and its partners were working with countries to drive uptake by getting vaccines to where people are, through mobile units, door-to-door campaigns, and by mobilising community leaders.

“The perception that the pandemic is over is understandable but misguided,” warned Ghebreyesus.

“More than seven thousand people lost their lives to this virus last week – that’s seven thousand too many. A new and even more dangerous variant could emerge at any time, and vast numbers of people remain unprotected. The pandemic is not over, and we will keep saying it’s not over until it is.”

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