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Delayed Covid vaccines for poor countries ‘will leave Europe vulnerable for years’

Wealthier countries will be dealing with coronavirus in 2022 and beyond, says UN humanitarian agency chief

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Poorer countries are unlikely to gain substantial access to Covid-19 vaccines until the latter half of next year, meaning wealthier European countries could still remain vulnerable to new waves of infection for years, the UN’s humanitarian chief has said.

“For poorer countries there will be small quantities of vaccine conceivably in the second quarter of next year, probably not much more than that for a while after that, and it’s 2022 and beyond when the major progress is made,” Mark Lowcock, the under-secretary-general of the UN’s humanitarian agency OCHA, said in an interview. “That is a best judgment, recognising large quantities depend on the number of vaccines authorised, the manufacturing and then the solution the world comes to on who accesses what when.”

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