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UN Secy Gen will take the COVID-19 vaccine publicly

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United Nations, Dec 10: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that he intends to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available and he will do so publicly, asserting that vaccination for him is a moral obligation" towards the whole community.

Of course, I intend to receive the vaccine when it becomes available for me in whatever the situation that will be justified for that. And, obviously, I will have no doubt in doing it publicly, Guterres said on Wednesday.

UN Secy Gen will take the COVID-19 vaccine publicly

The 71-year-old UN chief was responding to a question during a press briefing at the UN Headquarters on whether he would publicly take the COVID-19 vaccine when it's available to him.

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I encourage everybody that has access to the vaccine to be vaccinated, because it is a service, not only that we provide to ourselves. Each one of us being vaccinated provides a service to the whole community because we are no longer spreading... there is no risk of spreading the disease. So, vaccination is for me a moral obligation in relation to all of us, he said.

His remarks came during the hybrid press conference with Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat following the Fourth UN-AU Annual Conference.

Mr Guterres reiterated his call for a COVID-19 vaccine to be a global public good available to everywhere and particularly, available in Africa.

Most African countries lack the financing to adequately respond to the crisis, due in part to declining demand and prices of their commodity exports, he said.

In response to a question that while floodgates to COVID-19 vaccines are opening in rich countries, Africa might not begin to see vaccines until the second quarter of 2021, he said: It's true we are seeing vaccine nationalism moving with full speed.

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He added that if Africa is not properly supported, we will not be able to fight the pandemic anywhere effectively.

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    He said the only way to ensure that the vaccines reach Africa timely is to make sure that the COVAX initiative is financed and gets the USD 4.2 [billion] it needs in the next two months to make sure that vaccines approved by the World Health Organization can be distributed in Africa sooner rather than later.

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