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WHO calls for widespread flu vaccinations this year

A healthcare worker takes a swab sample from a woman at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) drive in test centre at Rome's San Giovanni hospital in Rome, Italy, August 18, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

GENEVA (Reuters) - The world must administer widespread anti-flu vaccinations this year to help to ward off the risk of complicating coronavirus infections, World Health Organization senior adviser Bruce Aylward said on Tuesday.

More than 21.9 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 772,647 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove told a briefing in Geneva that studies to date showed that less than 10% of the population has evidence of antibodies against the virus.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Michael Shields and John Miller; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by David Goodman