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The World Health Organization is Calling for Equitable Access to Vaccines and More
By Brian W. Carter Contributing Writer
Published September 23, 2021

(File Photo)

The WHO wants improved responses to health crises and universal health coverage.

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of nearly 5 million people around the globe and is still active. The World Health Organization (WHO) urged leaders attending the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to guarantee equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and other life-saving tools to be prepared for future pandemics.

More than 5.7 billion vaccine doses have been administered globally, but 73% of all doses have been administered in just 10 countries. High-income countries have administered 61 times more doses per person than low-income countries. WHO’s objective is to vaccinate at least 40% of the population of every country by the end of the year and 70% by the middle of next year. WHO believes if countries and manufacturers make a genuine commitment towards vaccine equity, these objectives are achievable.

WHO is calling on countries to fulfil their dose-sharing pledges and to swap their near-term vaccine deliveries with COVAX and AVAT (African COVID-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team). WHO is also tasking manufacturers to prioritize supplies to COVAX and partners, and for countries and manufacturers to facilitate sharing of technology, know-how and intellectual property to support regional vaccine manufacturing.

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COVID-19 hit vulnerable populations particularly hard and exacerbated inequalities. WHO is urging all countries to end “panic and neglect” response seen after previous health emergencies, and commit to adequate financial resources, as well as political engagement to strengthen health emergency preparedness across the globe. Universal health coverage (UHC) is key to global health security. Recently, 90% of countries have reported disruptions in essential health services due to the pandemic. Serious investment in UHC and pandemic preparedness is critical for global health security.

Earlier this week, Public Health reported 5 new deaths and stated 1,322 new cases of COVID-19. There were 1,070 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 with 16% of nearly 8,450,000 individuals testing positive with symptoms.

Public Health identified 1,444,127 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 25,832 deaths. Cases across the Southland: Los Angeles County shows 1,368,038 cases, Long Beach with 63,059 cases and Pasadena with 13,030 cases.

According to race and ethnicity, COVID-19 statistics show: American Indian/Alaska Native with 2,310; Asian with 65,137; Black with 64,787; Hispanic/Latino with 708,366; Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander with 5,010; White with 165,484; those of other race and ethnicity with 116,107 and 240,837 under investigation.

For more detailed information on COVID-19 vaccination plans in L.A. County and to sign up for a vaccination newsletter, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com

For more information and statistics on COVID-19 in Los Angeles County, please visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/

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Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus:

*Los Angeles County Department of Public Health http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/

*California Department of Public Health https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/index.html Spanish https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index-sp.html

*World Health Organization https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

*LA County residents can also call 2-1-1

 

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