Greta Thunberg describes vaccine inequality among the high-income and poor countries as “unethical”

Renowned climate activist Greta Thunberg has called for equity in the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine.

Greta Thunberg has called on vaccine developers and governments to “step up their game” when it comes to vaccine access. The teenage climate activist points out that 1 in 4 people in high-income countries have been vaccinated yet the figure in low-income countries is 1 in 500. 

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In a sign of advocating from the front, her foundation has donated €100,000 to COVAX to help with buying vaccines for poor countries. The Swedish climate heroine inspired the ‘Fridays for Future’ climate change movement that began in 2018 where she alongside other young activists sat in front of the Swedish parliament for three weeks straight to protest inaction over the climate crisis. 

Invited as a guest during a WHO briefing she pointed out how it is “unethical” that high-income countries are vaccinating the young and healthy in their countries, yet people in “risk groups” and the “front lines” in poor countries are yet to receive them. She hailed the development of the Covid-19 vaccines as a “record time.” Just as with the climate crisis, she pointed out that the most vulnerable need to be prioritized, going further to say “global problems require global solutions.”

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Thunberg argued that environmental destruction was partly responsible for the pandemic as the virus could easily find its way from animals to humans. She went on to point scientific proof in the possibility of an increased likelihood of “devastating pandemics” unless we change the way we treat nature. 

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Last week the WHO recorded the most cases in a single week. The news was shared by the WHO Chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a news conference held in Geneva. For eight consecutive weeks, Covid-19 infections have been on a steady rise. The global death toll is now past 3 million according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. To give a simplistic description of the rising numbers, he said it took 9 months to hit a million deaths, 4 months to hit 2 million deaths, and 3 months to make it to 3 million deaths. He couldn’t stress enough as to how each death is a tragedy for “families, communities, and nations.”

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The WHO director expressed concern over the “alarming rate” at which the virus is spreading among those aged 25-59. A situation is partly driven by the rise in new variants. 

Growing concerns over young adults contracting Covid-19 have been reported to doctors in some of the hotspots - particularly Brazil where some of the variants have resulted in devastating surges in hospitalizations and deaths.