UN chief Antonio Guterres receives Covid-19 vaccine, urges others to follow suit

The 71-year-old says ‘none of us are safe until all of us are safe’

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United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres received his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in New York on Thursday and called on others to receive their shots as soon as possible.

Mr Guterres, 71, rolled up his sleeve at the Adlai E. Stevenson High School in The Bronx, a few kilometres uptown from UN headquarters in midtown Manhattan, to receive a jab of the Moderna vaccine.

New York residents over the age of 65 — as well as school workers, emergency responders, public transit staff and grocery store clerks — are covered in the current phase of vaccinations in the city.

The UN chief made the victory sign as he was injected and afterwards said he was “very grateful to the city of New York and the staff” at the school while stressing “how important it is for everyone, everywhere to be vaccinated”.

The former prime minister of Portugal has said that getting vaccinated is a service not only to ourselves but to the whole community because it reduces the risk of spreading the disease.

“We must get to work to make sure the vaccine is available to everyone, everywhere,” he wrote on Twitter.

“With this pandemic, none of us are safe until all of us are safe.”

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Guterres called for more global co-operation on fighting a virus that had infected more than 100 million people, killed nearly 2.2 million, shuttered economies and sent unemployment rates soaring.

“Behind those figures lies immeasurable loss and grief,” he told reporters.