250 million COVID-19 vaccine doses needed to hit September target: WHO

An elderly woman is vaccinated at a local hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe on March 29, 2021. (Photo: Agencies)

The world needs 250 million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses by September in order to ensure at least 10 percent of the population of every country receives the life-saving jab by then, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom.

Tedros made the remarks at the U.K. High-Level event on equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in humanitarian settings.

He noted that many low-income countries were still struggling to obtain vaccines, thereby leaving their populations at risk from the disease.

"More than 2 billion doses of vaccine have now been administered globally, but less than half of one percent have been administered in low-income countries," he said.

He stressed that the disparity in vaccine distribution had allowed COVID-19 to spread even further.

He also warned that the situation creates an opportunity for the emergence of other variants that evade available vaccines.

"The equation is quite simple: the sooner doses are shared, the sooner we can vaccinate the most vulnerable all over the world. And the sooner we do that, the sooner we can end the pandemic and drive a truly global and inclusive recovery," he said.

By Tuesday, the number of COVID-19 infections globally had surpassed the 173.7 million mark with over 3.7 million deaths, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.