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WHO says war in Ukraine could make the Covid-19 pandemic worse

Cases in the region are down from the previous week, but there’s significant risk there will be more severe disease and death due to low vaccination rates in Ukraine, as well as among the more than two million who’ve fled the country to surrounding areas, regions also with low vaccination rates. Ukraine’s Covid-19 vaccination rate is around 34%, while neighboring Moldova’s is around 29%, according to Our World In Data.

“Unfortunately, this virus will take opportunities to continue to spread,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19, during a Wednesday news briefing. “We as an organization recognize that countries are in very different situations; they’re facing different challenges. There’s a lot of movement and refugees associated with this crisis.”

Also on Wednesday, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program, said there will be a rise…

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