GENEVA (AP) – The United Nations health agency, which has repeatedly urged the world to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and other diseases, declined on Friday to say how many of its own employees have followed that advice.
“We won’t have that because it’s confidential,” said Dr. Margaret Harris, a spokesman for the World Health Organization.
Referring to the UN staff, the UN spokeswoman in Geneva, Alessandra Vellucci, said: “We do not release this type of information. It is something that is said to the medical service. So no, unfortunately, we won’t be able to give you these numbers. “
Vellucci said he would study whether the percentages of UN personnel who had been vaccinated could be provided.
In November, the WHO indicated that 65 of its employees had tested positive for COVID-19 at the time, confirming information in an internal email Obtained by The Associated Press. The UN office in Geneva has often indicated how many of its staff have tested positive.
Governments list how many people are vaccinated against the coronavirus, and the WHO collects the information and reports on it. Some countries and companies require vaccines for their workers to go to their jobs.
The refusal to provide vaccination figures by the WHO and the UN itself points to the legal restrictions faced by many organizations on privacy, particularly in Europe.
The UN and WHO have repeatedly proclaimed vaccination as part of a series of measures such as the use of masks, proper hygiene and physical distancing needed to help try to defeat the pandemic.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said he has been vaccinated and has encouraged others to do so as well. His agency and many health authorities around the world have struggled to roll back a wave of anti-vaccine sentiment in many places.