COVID-19: Vaccination of Health Workers in World Lagging Behind

Health | July 18, 2021, Sunday // 23:50|  views

Health and care workers are being "left behind" in efforts to vaccinate the world against Covid-19, nursing leaders say.

There were promises they would be among the first to be jabbed.

But the International Council of Nurses (ICN), which represents 27 million professionals, says tens of millions have not even had one dose.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates around 200 have died each day since the pandemic began.

Howard Catton, chief executive of the ICN, says: "If this was an airline going down every day with 200 people on board, there'd be immediate investigations.

Reporting of infections and deaths among healthcare workers is patchy and the true figure is thought to be far higher than the 6,643 officially reported to the WHO.

Many countries are not officially reporting the number of health and care workers who have died of Covid, and the WHO estimates the real figure is at least 115,000 - and potentially much higher.

There are around 135 million health and care workers around the world, according to the International Labour Organization.

The latest data reported to the WHO from 140 countries suggests just one in eight is fully vaccinated, the vast majority in richer nations.

WHO's Regional Office for Africa, confirmed that 2.4 million health workers across 38 countries have had at least one dose of a vaccine - but another 66.2 million doses are needed to ensure all health and care workers in the region are double-jabbed.

Covid vaccines remain scarce internationally, particularly in lower-income countries.

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