UN chief scores ‘widely uneven’ worldwide Covid vaccine rollout

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday urged for the creation of a global vaccination plan while chastising the “widely uneven and unfair” distribution of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019.

Guterres, speaking before the UN Security Council in a virtual meeting on Wednesday, said the recent rollout of vaccines has given hope to the world but 10 countries account for 75 percent of all vaccines while more than 130 nations have yet to receive a single dose.

“At this critical moment, vaccine equity is the biggest moral test before the global community,” he said. “We must ensure that everybody, everywhere, can be vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Guterres warned if the virus is allowed to spread anywhere in the world, it will mutate and keep everyone at risk as the new variants may be more communicable and more deadly while possibly threatening the effectiveness of the vaccines already developed.

“The world urgently needs a global vaccination plan to bring together all those with the required power, scientific expertise and production and financial capacities,” he said.

The Group of 20 wealthy nations should establish an emergency task force to create, coordinate, implement and finance this plan, he said.

“I am ready to galvanize the full United Nations System in support of this effort,” he said.

The call was made nearly three months after Britain inoculated the first person against the coronavirus.

The virus, which first emerged in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, has infected more than 109 million people, including 2.4 million who died, according to a live map of the disease by Johns Hopkins University.

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