The head of the World Health Organization has called on countries to cooperate with its efforts to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines. The WHO now aims for 10 percent of each country's population to be vaccinated by September.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke at the organization's annual assembly, which kicked off on Monday in a teleconference format. All of its 194 members participated.
Tedros noted that more than 75 percent of all vaccines were administered in just 10 countries. He called this a "scandalous inequity," and said it is perpetuating the pandemic.
Tedros urged countries to provide assistance to the COVAX facility, a framework set up to equitably distribute vaccines.
The assembly lasts until Tuesday next week. Participants will discuss topics including independent research on countries' anti-infection measures.
They are expected to adopt a plan to beef up international preparedness against new infectious diseases.
Taiwan -- which is not a WHO member -- attempted to attend the assembly as an observer, with backing from the United States and Japan. But it was not allowed to participate due to objections from China..