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WHO chief: Vaccination of kids a ‘moral catastrophe’ as health workers await jabs

Published: (Updated: ) in European News by .

The US and Canada have both authorized the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine for children as young as 12.

The world is now witnessing a “moral catastrophe” play out as children and adolescents are being vaccinated in some wealthy countries, while health care workers in poor nations go without, said the World Health Organization’s Executive Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday.

“In a handful of rich countries which have bought up the majority of the vaccine supply, lower-risk groups are now being vaccinated,” he said. “I urge them to reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to COVAX.” 

Pointing to the fact that only 0.3 percent of vaccines are going to low-income countries, Tedros said that the supply in low- and lower-middle-income countries wasn’t even enough to immunize health workers, with hospitals being inundated with cases.

The U.S. and Canada have both authorized the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine for children as young as 12. However, on Thursday Kate O’Brien, director of the WHO’s department of immunization, vaccines and biologicals, said that just because a vaccine is authorized for children, doesn’t mean that countries should be prioritizing them. 

Vaccines are available for teenagers aged 16 and over across the U.S., with those aged 12 to 15 being able to get their jabs in some states already. A similar situation has played out in Canada’s provinces and territories, with vaccination appointments starting to be booked for children aged 12 to 15. 

Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/who-chief-vaccination-of-kids-a-moral-catastrophe-as-health-workers-await-jabs/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

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