By Sola Ogundipe
The World Health Organisation has stated that unvaccinated people are “dying unnecessarily” from Covid-19, citing global vaccine inequities as one of the main obstacles to immunising more people against the virus.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19, who spoke on Tuesday, worried over shortfalls in the goal of vaccinating 10 percent of the population by the end of September.
“Not meeting that target is heartbreaking; it’s more than heartbreaking, it’s more than frustrating, it’s beyond words, I have to say because if we had used the more than 6 billion vaccines that have been administered today differently, we would be in a very, very different situation right now,” she said.
She added that data on Covid vaccines shows very clearly that they are safe and effective at preventing hospitalisations and death.
“They just need to be accessible” to more people, she said. “The result of this is people who are dying unnecessarily.”
Van Kerkhove’s comments echo those of U.S. health officials who have said that almost all Covid deaths recorded nationwide have been among unvaccinated patients.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die from Covid, 10 times more likely to require hospitalisation for their symptoms, and roughly 4.5 times more likely to contract the virus overall.
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