17 February 2021
Last month, WHO issued a call to all countries to work together in solidarity to ensure that within the first 100 days of the year, the vaccination of health workers and older people was underway in all countries.
Health and care workers have been at the forefront of the pandemic response: often under protected and over exposed. All of us have been touched in some way by the loving care of a health worker – their presence at a birth, a death, treatment for a child, sibling or parent.
Although vaccines are now being distributed in more than 70 countries, with health workers in those places rightly among the first groups to receive them, in most low- and middle-income countries, vaccination has not even started, which is a catastrophe as hospitals fill up.
We must act swiftly to correct this injustice. Multiple variants are showing increased transmissibility and even resistance to the health tools needed to tackle this virus.
In this light, during the International Year of the Health and Care Worker, I am asking you to support the rollout of the Vaccine Equity campaign to ensure that by World Health Day on 7 April 2021 that COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in every country, as a symbol of hope for overcoming both the pandemic and the inequalities that lie at the root of so many global health challenges.
You can help by inviting your networks to sign up to the Vaccine Equity Declaration and spreading word on your social media channels using materials that can be found here (https://www.who.int/campaigns/annual-theme/year-of-health-and-care-workers-2021/vaccine-equity-declaration).
Thank you for joining the global call to act together for Vaccine Equity and protect those who protect us.
Proud To Be WHO
Dr Tedros, WHO Director-General