The WHO has said that
80,000 to 180,000 healthcare workers may have been killed by COVID-19 up to May
this year, insisting they must be prioritised for vaccination.
The World Health Organisation said the fact that millions of
health workers remain unvaccinated is an “indictment” on the countries and
companies controlling the global supply of doses.
A WHO paper estimated
that out of the planet’s 135 million health staff, “between 80,000 to 180,000
health and care workers could have died from COVID-19 in the period between
January 2020 to May 2021”.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said healthcare workers
needed to be among the first immunised against the disease, as he slammed the
global inequity in the vaccine roll-out.
“Data from 119 countries
suggest that on average, two in five health and care workers globally are fully
vaccinated. But of course, that average masks huge differences,” he said.
“In Africa, less than in one in 10 health workers have been
fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, in most high-income countries, more than 80
percent of health workers are fully vaccinated.”
He added: “We call on all countries to ensure that all health
and care workers in every country are prioritised for COVID-19 vaccines,
alongside other at-risk groups.”