‘Vaccine nationalism’ would prolong coronavirus pandemic, says WHO chief Tedros – world news

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WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for countries all over the world to enroll in forces to tackle the coronavirus on Friday, saying that “vaccine nationalism” would only slow the response to the pandemic.

Tedros said 78 high-income countries had now joined the “COVAX” global vaccine allocation plan, bringing the complete to 170 countries, adding that joining the plan guaranteed those countries access to the world’s largest portfolio of vaccines.

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The WHO and the GAVI vaccine alliance are leading the COVAX facility, aimed at helping buy and hand out vaccination shots rather all over the world.

But some countries that have secured their own supplies through bilateral deals, including the US, have said they’re going to not sign up for COVAX.

“Vaccine nationalism will prolong the pandemic,” Tedros told reporters at a WHO briefing in Geneva, without mentioning any particular countries.

Tedros thanked Germany, Japan, Norway and the European Commission for joining COVAX all through the final week.

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A WHO spokeswoman said earlier on Friday that the organisation does not expect widespread vaccinations against COVID-19 to be to be had until mid-2021, citing the need for rigorous checks on their effectiveness and safety.

The WHO’s chief scientist told the briefing that no vaccine will have to be approved for a worldwide rollout until it had undergone sufficient scrutiny.

“No vaccine is going to be mass-deployed until regulators are self-assured, governments are self-assured, and the WHO is self-assured it has met the minimum standard of safety,” WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said.

“These (vaccine candidates) want to go through the full Phase III trials,” she said, referring to testing that typically involves thousands of participants.

Top stories/ News / India

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