WHO chief: Vaccine nationalism could lead to 'catastrophic moral failure'

Wealthier nations inoculating their citizens for COVID-19 at a much more rapid rate than low-income countries could have a disastrous effect on global health, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, the director-general of the World Health Organization, said during a Jan. 18 meeting with the executive board.

Dr. Tedros said that while more than 39 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in higher-income countries, one poor nation has administered only 25.

"I need to be blunt, the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries," he said.

During his address, Dr. Tedros also pointed out that the emergence of coronavirus variants that spread rapidly "makes the rapid and equitable rollout of vaccines all the more important."

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