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Coronavirus: WHO tells rich countries to stop cutting vaccine queue

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The World Health Organization's director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday expressed concern that low and middle-income countries were not yet receiving supplies of COVID-19 vaccines and urged countries to stop striking bilateral deals with manufacturers.

He said rich countries had the "majority of the supply" and called on those who have ordered excess doses to immediately hand them over to the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility. Emergencies chief Mike Ryan echoed the comments, stressing the need to give doses to vulnerable groups and frontline health-care workers first, no matter where they live.

While Tedros did not name the countries, the European Union said it had reached a deal with Pfizer and BioNTech for 300 million additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in a move that would give the EU nearly half of the firms' global output for 2021.

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