Southeast Asia needs more vaccines against COVID-19 to contain fatalities: IFRC
thamnguyen99 18-08-2021, 18:07
 
Southeast Asia needs more vaccines against COVID-19 to contain fatalities: IFRC

People in Jakarta, Indonesia, get vaccinated against COVID-19. (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)   

NDO/VNA – Southeast Asian countries need more help in securing COVID-19 vaccines, as the region is struggling to contain record infections and deaths driven by the Delta variant, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has said.


Southeast Asia escaped the worst situation when the pandemic broke out last year, but in recent weeks has seen the highest deaths globally, as soaring infections push regional healthcare systems to the brink and expose sluggish vaccination rollouts.

Alexander Matheou, Asia Pacific Director of the IFRC, said that this COVID-19 surge driven by the Delta variant is claiming a tragic toll on families across Southeast Asia and it's far from over.

Most Southeast Asian countries have been posting record COVID-19 infections or fatalities.

According to a Reuters COVID-19 tracker, while countries like Canada, Spain and Britain have fully vaccinated more than 60% of their people, and the US more than 50%, Indonesia and Philippines - the most populous countries in Southeast Asia - have only fully vaccinated around 10-11% of their people.

Matheou said that in the short-term, richer countries should urgently share their millions of excess vaccine doses with countries in Southeast Asia, and vaccine companies and governments also need to share technologies and boost production.

The coming weeks are critical for scaling up treatment, testing and vaccinations, in every corner of all regional countries, he said, adding that there must be a target for vaccination rates of 70-80%.

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