'Reconsider vaccinating children, donate to Covax,' says WHO chief as he warns against 'deadliest year'

'Reconsider vaccinating children, donate to Covax,' says WHO chief as he warns against 'deadliest year'

He has also urged countries to stop vaccinating children against the deadly coronavirus and instead donate those doses to poor countries.

The WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned the world that the second year of the pandemic will be deadlier than the first one.

"In January, I spoke about the potential unfolding of a moral catastrophe," Tedros said in a press conference. "Unfortunately, we're now witnessing this play out. In a handful of rich countries, which bought up the majority of the supply, lower-risk groups are now being vaccinated."

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He has also urged countries to stop vaccinating children against the deadly coronavirus and instead donate those doses to poor countries.

"I understand why some countries want to vaccinate their children and adolescents, but right now I urge them to reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to Covax," he said. "Because in low and lower-middle income countries, COVID-19 vaccine supply has not been enough to even immunise healthcare workers, and hospitals are being inundated with people that need lifesaving care urgently."

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The virus has taken more than 3.3 million lives till now, but the WHO chief has warned that the situation is about to get worse.

"We're on track for the second year of this pandemic to be far more deadly than the first," he said. "Saving lives and livelihoods with a combination of public health measures and vaccination — not one or the other — is the only way out."

This has come as the 56-year-old got vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus earlier this week in Geneva, where WHO headquarters are based.

Calling it a 'bittersweet moment', he said, "the fact that so many are still not protected is a sad reflection on the gross distortion in access to vaccines across the globe".

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