Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Six Eastern Mediterranean countries below 10% of Covid-19 vaccine coverage

Written by Eric Apim on Tuesday, December 21st 2021 à 16:10 | Read 191 times

Countries remain unequal when it comes to vaccination (photo: WHO)
Countries remain unequal when it comes to vaccination (photo: WHO)
MEDITERRANEAN. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "the gap in vaccination coverage between countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region is widening alarmingly".

Based in Cairo, the institution's regional office reveals that as of 14 December 2021, more than 500 million doses of vaccine had been administered in this region (out of 8.33 billion worldwide), an average of 65 doses per 100 inhabitants. However, it notes that upper-middle and high-income countries stand out with twice as many doses injected (92-152 doses per 100 inhabitants) as those with lower standards of living, where only 39-79 doses per 100 inhabitants were delivered.

It also points out that "nine countries have already reached the year-end target and have fully vaccinated at least 40% of their population". But "six countries remain below 10% coverage," its members said, noting that "inequalities in immunisation threaten many high-risk and vulnerable populations in the region.
The WHO does not specify the names of the countries concerned.


140 million vaccines delivered

"As many more vaccines have been delivered now, we need to ensure that this vaccine gets into the arms of those who need it. This will protect them from severe disease and death and protect the health system," comments Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

As of 14 December 2021, through the Covax mechanism, WHO has helped deliver 140 million vaccines to 21 countries in the region. "Covid-19 vaccines prevent severe disease, hospitalisation and death, even for newly detected variants," the WHO said. Its statement said that "the emergence of omicron is an additional reason to increase coverage, in parallel with all other prevention measures". 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Eastern Mediterranean region has recorded nearly 17 million cases with 312,947 deaths (272 million cases worldwide with 5.33 million deaths).

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