Amnesty International, along with other organizations, have reported that at least 17,000 health workers have died from the coronavirus last year, based on the results of an analysis released Friday.
“The grave warning came as global inequalities in vaccine access continued to widen,” Amnesty said.
The organizations, which include Amnesty International, Public Services International (PSI) and UNI Global Union, have urged governments to expedite vaccinations for health workers.
They also called for the inoculation of all health workers “including those often ignored in the pandemic such as cleaners, community health workers and social care workers – in order to save lives and provide safe working conditions. “
Steve Cockburn, head of Economic and Social Justice at Amnesty International said, “For one health worker to die from COVID-19 every 30 minutes is both a tragedy and an injustice.”
Cockburn called for all health workers to be prioritized in vaccination campaigns as they risk their lives in the global health crisis.
The organizations analyzed data by governments, the media and civil society groups in more than 70 countries.
In an earlier report by Amnesty International, it found out that the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and unsafe working conditions were major problems for health care workers worldwide.
“Urgent action must be taken to close the huge global inequalities in vaccine access, so a community health worker in Peru is protected as much as a doctor in the UK,” Cockburn said.