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Refugees Excluded From COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout: World Vision Report

  • Only one refugee out of thousands World Vision surveyed had received a COVID-19 vaccine
  • 84% of vaccine doses administered have been in the richest countries, as few as 0.1% in poorer nations
  • Most refugees live in lower income countries and are being left out of vaccination campaigns

A report released today by aid agency World Vision says refugees and internally displaced people, who are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, are the lowest priority group when it comes to vaccination.

High Risk- Low Priority warns that COVID-19 is now surging in lower income countries that do not have the resources needed to contain the virus and protect their own populations. These countries have access to only three per cent of global vaccine doses, so they are struggling to include displaced people in their vaccination campaigns.

Andrew Morley, President and CEO of World Vision International said “The world’s most vulnerable children – who have been forced to flee their homes, locked down with people who abuse them, pulled out of school, forced to work or pushed into an early marriage to ensure their survival – need action now. Today’s figures are a stark illustration of this.”

Higher income countries are vaccinating their populations on average 25 times faster than nations with lowest incomes. But World Vision says the focus should be on vaccinating the world’s most vulnerable.

“It is a moral outrage that communities most ravaged by Covid-19 continue to have the least access to vaccines,” said Morley. “World leaders are still failing to vaccinate the most vulnerable, despite everything we know about how important it is.”

Research carried out by World Vision in Brazil, Colombia, DRC, Jordan, Peru, Turkey, Uganda and Venezuela found that:

  • Only one refugee out of 1,914 surveyed had received a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 68% had not even heard of plans for vaccinations in their communities. 47% thought they weren’t eligible or did not know they were.

Last week at the G7 world leaders pledged to donate one billion COVID-19 vaccines to the world’s most vulnerable. World Vision is calling on donor governments to ensure that this pledge turns into a reality. It also calls on host governments to include all forcibly displaced people, regardless of their legal and documentation status, in COVID-19 vaccination plans.

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