CAIRO - The World Health Organization said Monday that only around 1% of the wider Middle East region’s population had received a first coronavirus vaccine shot. The UN body released its data for what it calls the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO) of nearly 600 million people, stretching from Morocco to Pakistan — but excluding Israel. “So far, more than 6.3 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been given to people in 12 countries,” Ahmed al-Mandhari, the Cairo-based WHO’s regional chief, told reporters. WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO) comprises 21 member states and is home to some 583 million people. But while it includes the Palestinian Territories, it does not include Israel, the country in the region with the biggest mass vaccination campaign. Israel reports that 3.8 million people have received a first dose, while 2.4 million have received a second shot. “Vaccinations are a turning point in facing the virus but the vaccines alone are not enough,” al-Mandhari said, adding that social distancing, wearing masks and keeping...read more...