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Southeast Asia needs vaccine access to curb record deaths: Red Cross

Southeast Asia needs vaccine access to curb record deaths: Red Cross

FILE PHOTO: A cemetery worker wearing a protective suit rests on a coffin for a COVID-19 victim at a cemetery in Klang, Malaysia on Jul 24, 2021. (Reuters/Lim Huey Teng)

Yet while countries like Canada, Spain and Britain have fully vaccinated more than 60 per cent of their people, and the United States more than 50 per cent, Southeast Asian countries are well behind, according to a Reuters COVID-19 tracker. 

By contrast, Indonesia and Philippines, the most populous countries in Southeast Asia, have only fully vaccinated around 10-11 per cent of their people, while Vietnam sits at below 2 per cent.  

"In the short-term, we need much greater efforts by richer countries to urgently share their millions of excess vaccine doses with countries in Southeast Asia, said Matheou, adding that vaccine companies and governments also needed to share technology and boost production. 

"These coming weeks are critical for scaling up treatment, testing and vaccinations, in every corner of all countries in Southeast Asia," he said, adding that there must be a target for vaccination rates of 70-80 per cent. 

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Source: Reuters/ad

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