Covid threat persists, expand vaccination coverage, WHO tells Southeast Asia

India sees over 17,000 fresh cases

Covid threat persists, expand vaccination coverage, WHO tells Southeast Asia

The World Health Organisation (WHO) today called on countries in Southeast Asia to accelerate Covid vaccination coverage. - File photo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1

The World Health Organisation (WHO) today called on countries in Southeast Asia to accelerate Covid vaccination coverage.

While significant progress has been made in the region towards vaccinating people, several countries missed the global target to fully inoculate 70 per cent of their total population with the primary dose by June-end. The region is again witnessing a surge in cases, the WHO noted.

“We know that Covid vaccines provide high levels of protection against severe disease and death. We must focus on rapidly achieving high vaccination coverage, prioritising health workers, aged, those with underlying health conditions and pregnant women. The pandemic is not over yet. We must scale up our efforts to protect communities,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO Southeast Asia, in a statement.

She congratulated the countries that have achieved the target of vaccinating 70 per cent of their population. Bhutan has 89 per cent population vaccinated with all primary doses, Thailand 79.9 per cent, Maldives 70.4 per cent and Bangladesh 70.2 per cent. Nepal with 69.3 per cent is close to achieving the global June-end vaccination goal. “We must acknowledge India’s impressive efforts and its support to other countries in providing Covid vaccines,” said Khetrapal.

64% population fully jabbed

  • Home to a quarter of the world’s population with over two billion people, the WHO Southeast Asia region has 64.1 per cent fully vaccinated population
  • Its 71.7 per cent population has taken at least one dose
  • Ten of the 11 member countries of the region, except North Korea, have been vaccinating their citizens

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