The total number of fully vaccinated people in Uganda – with its population of nearly 46 million – is the same as that of Galway. But in the vast African state, that’s just 0.45% of the population.
It’s the shocking analogy deployed by UNICEF this week to show how vulnerable the world remains to the threat of Covid.
And it’s not just Uganda; there are as many people vaccinated in Kilkenny as in Chad, Cork as in Sierra Leone and Syria as in Co Limerick.
Currently, only seven percent of people living in low-income countries have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
In a bid to deliver vaccines to some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, UNICEF – aided by its ambassador and former Galway star Joe Canning – recently brought the harsh reality of the global vaccination effort to the streets from Ireland.
And their message was clear. There is still so much to do around the world to ensure that everyone has access to life-saving Covid-19 vaccines.
âThe Irish have been incredibly supportive of UNICEF’s campaign to deliver Covid-19 vaccines to the world’s poorest countries,â Joe said.
âThe idea that people in countries already facing the greatest challenges, due to conflict, poverty or other problems, are now at the greatest risk of Covid-19 is just not right. And the Irish understand that.
“This is why I am so passionate about the campaign to immunize the world, and I hope everyone will continue to support it this Christmas,” he added.
Covid-19 vaccines have given Ireland a critical buffer against the worst impacts of the virus, but the risk remains high for billions of people around the world, according to UNICEF.
That’s why UNICEF is working to deliver three billion Covid-19 vaccines to the most vulnerable families, health workers and high-risk people on our planet.
UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Peter Power said it was important to release the numbers to draw attention to the glaring differences and help end the pandemic.
âGetting the pandemic under control is the top priority, but we cannot end a global pandemic one country at a time,â he said.
âIt is not fair that people in low-income countries have to wait months for access to doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The more opportunities the virus has to spread anywhere in the world, the more likely it is to mutate, allowing new variants to emerge. We see it now, and it’s another stark reminder that no one is safe, until we are all safe, âMr. Power said.