The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that between 80,000 to 180,000 healthcare workers may have died in the last 17 months due to COVID-19 between January 2020 and May of this year in a new working paper.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said frontline workers needed to be among the first immunised against the disease, as he slammed the global inequity of the vaccine roll-out.
Data from 119 countries suggests that two out of five healthcare workers are vaccinated.
There is a large disparity between poor and rich regions: "In Africa, less than one in ten health workers have been fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, in most high-income countries, more than 80 percent of health workers are fully vaccinated," Ghebreyesus added.
The WHO chief added that more than 10 months after the approval of the first vaccines, "the fact that millions of health workers still haven’t been vaccinated is an indictment on the countries and companies that control the global supply of vaccines."