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There is a need to match vaccines with vigilance: UN secy gen Antonio Guterres

Updated on: 02 November,2021 08:57 AM IST  |  New York
Agencies |

As global COVID-19 deaths exceed 5 million, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres says ‘the milestone reminds us that we are failing much of the world’

There is a need to match vaccines with vigilance: UN secy gen Antonio Guterres

People line up to get a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine in a tent set up outside a shopping mall in Beijing on Monday. Pic/AFP

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for vaccine equity and continued vigilance against the Coronavirus as global COVID-19 deaths exceeded 5 million. 

“Today, the human family crosses a painful new threshold: 5 million lives lost to COVID-19,” he said in a statement. “This devastating milestone reminds us that we are failing much of the world.”

While wealthy countries are rolling out third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, only about 5 per cent of people in Africa are fully vaccinated. This is a global shame, he said. The five-million threshold should also stand as a clear warning: guard against the virus cannot be lowered, he said.

There are still more deaths, overcrowded hospitals and exhausted health workers, and the risk of new variants spreading and claiming more lives. At the same time, other dangerous threats continue to allow COVID-19 to thrive — misinformation, vaccine hoarding and vaccine nationalism, and lack of global solidarity, he said.

”I urge world leaders to fully support the global vaccination strategy I launched with the World Health Organization last month. We need to get vaccines into the arms of 40 per cent of people in all countries by the end of this year — and 70 per cent by mid-2022. I call on them to deliver with urgency and scale, address funding gaps and coordinate their actions for success,” Guterres said. 

Psaki tests positive for COVID, symptoms mild

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that she has tested positive for COVID-19 and will return to work after a 10-day quarantine following a negative result.In a statement on Sunday, Psaki said that she has been vaccinated against the virus and was currently experiencing mild symptoms, reports Xinhua news agency.

Australia formally recognises Covaxin

Australia’s medicines and medical devices regulator formally recognised India’s Covaxin, as the country’s border was reopened for the first time in nearly 20 months. Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, and AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s Covishield are the two widely used vaccines in India. 

Thailand allows vaxxed tourists from 63 nations

Thailand will allow fully vaccinated tourists from 63 low-risk nations to enter the country without quarantine from Monday, the media reported. On October 21, the government announced that from November 1, fully vaccinated travellers from 47 countries and territories will be allowed to enter Thailand without quarantine, later adding 17 more countries to the list.

FDA delays EUA of Moderna vaccine for teens

US drugmaker Moderna has confirmed that the FDA has delayed granting the emergency use authorisation (EUA) to its COVID vaccine for teenagers aged 12 to 17, over the risk of myocarditis — inflammation of the heart muscle. The FDA needs more time to complete its assessment and the review may not be completed until January 2022, the drugmaker said.

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