Covid-19: only nine countries in the eastern Mediterranean have fully vaccinated at least 40% of their population (WHO)

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Only nine countries in the Middle East and North Africa have already reached the end-of-year target and have fully immunized at least 40% of their population. However, 6 countries remain below the 10% coverage mark, underlines the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, without indicating these countries.

The UN World Health Agency says vaccine inequality in the eastern Mediterranean is “a missed opportunity to protect people from serious disease and death.”

“As a much larger quantity of vaccine has been delivered now, we need to make sure that this vaccine ends up in the arms of those who need it,” said Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the eastern Mediterranean.

More than 500 million doses of vaccine administered in the eastern Mediterranean

As of December 16, 2021, more than 8.337 million doses of vaccine have been administered worldwide, including more than 500 million sera in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. According to the WHO, this is an average of 65 doses per 100 inhabitants.

“However, upper middle and high income countries administered about twice as many doses (92 to 152 doses / 100 inhabitants) as lower middle and low income countries (39 to 79 doses / 100 inhabitants),” said WHO.

After initial supply constraints earlier in the year, the WHO notes that more doses of the vaccine are now available. As of December 14, WHO and its partners had contributed to the delivery of 140 million doses of vaccine to 21 countries in the Region through the COVAX mechanism.

Nearly 272 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been recorded worldwide, including 5,331,019 deaths. The Eastern Mediterranean has reported nearly 17 million cases, including 312,947 deaths linked to the new coronavirus.

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