UN Secretary-General receives COVID-19 vaccine in New York

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in New York on Thursday. Guterres received a vaccine shot at Adlai E Stevenson High School in The Bronx, a few miles uptown from UN Headquarters in New York, according to a release published on the UN official website.

Taking to Twitter, the UN chief said that he was fortunate and grateful to receive the shot, and urged the international community to ensure that vaccines become available to everyone on an equitable basis. “With this pandemic, none of us are safe until all of us are safe,” he wrote. The 71-year-old UN secretary-general was eligible to receive the vaccine on the basis of his age as New York residents over the age of 65 are included in the current phase of vaccinations in the city, which also includes school workers, first responders, public transit workers and grocery workers, according to the release. In December, Guterres declared that he would happily receive a vaccine in public, adding that vaccination is a moral obligation for him. During a press briefing in the day, he said among the challenges the world faces is the distribution of vaccines for COVID-19. Guterres termed vaccine nationalism as an economic as well as moral failure.

While every country has the right and the duty to protect its own people, no country can afford to neglect the rest of the world, he said, adding that nations must close the funding gap; ramp-up vaccine production by making licenses widely available and sharing technology; and get doses into the arms of all who need them.