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Covid-19 may have killed between 80k to 180k healthcare staff worldwide

Covid-19 has severely affected healthcare staff and may have killed between 80,000 and 180,000, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

Healthcare workers must be prioritised for vaccines, WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, and he criticised unfairness in the distribution of jabs.

The deaths occurred between January 2020 and May of this year.




Earlier, another senior WHO official warned a lack of jabs could see the pandemic continue well into next year.

There are an estimated 135 million healthcare workers globally.

“Data from 119 countries suggest that on average, two in five healthcare workers globally are fully vaccinated,” Dr Tedros said.



“But of course, that average masks huge differences across regions and economic groupings.”

Fewer than one in 10 healthcare workers were fully vaccinated in Africa, he said, compared with eight in 10 in high-income countries.

A failure to provide poorer countries with enough vaccines was highlighted earlier by Dr Bruce Aylward, a senior leader at the WHO, who said it meant the Covid crisis could “easily drag on deep into 2022”.

Less than 5% of Africa’s population have been vaccinated, compared with 40% on most other continents.

Covax, the UN-backed global programme to distribute vaccines fairly aimed to deliver two billion doses of vaccines by the end of this year, but so far it has shipped 371 million doses.

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 4.9 million people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally, while nearly 242 million cases have been registered.