Geneva (Switzerland) | Jagran News Desk: The COVID-19 pandemic won’t end until at least 70 per cent of the global population is vaccinated, World Health Organisation’s Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge stated on Saturday, while flagging Europe’s vaccine rollout as “too slow”.

"Don't think the COVID-19 pandemic is over," Kluge told news agency AFP in an interview while emphasising the need to speed up the vaccination.

"The pandemic will be over once we reach 70 per cent minimum coverage in vaccination," the regional director said.

According to Oxford University’s ‘Our World in Data’ vaccination tracker, over 1.84 billion vaccine doses have been inoculated worldwide which equals 24 vaccine doses per 100 people. Only 20 countries worldwide have over 20 per cent of their populations fully vaccinated.

North America leads vaccination coverage followed by Europe

The stark disparity in vaccine coverage worldwide is as much apparent. In North America, at least 59 per cent of the population has received at least one vaccine shot. Followed by Europe (46 per cent), South America (27 per cent), Asia (21 per cent), Oceania (which includes Australia and New Zealand; 11 per cent) and Africa (2.2 per cent). At least 11 countries in Africa are yet to begin inoculating their populations.

Vaccination status in India

With over 20 crore inoculations till date, a little above 12 per cent of India’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The fully vaccinated proportion of the population currently stands at 3.1 per cent.

Speed essential

"Let's finally give COVID-19 the red card, don't allow extra time for COVID-19 ," Dr Klugg said, advising again to maintain social distances and wear face masks.

He also highlighted that speed is "of essence" during the pandemic.

"Our best friend is speed, time is working against us, (and) the vaccination roll-out still goes too slow," Kluge said.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma