COVID-19 cases around the world are increasing day by day and all the hopes are now pinned on COVID-19 vaccine to get us all through this storm. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, chief of World Health Organisation (WHO), has called for solidarity on Sunday. He urged the nations to understand that we must use the vaccine effectively and warned, “vaccine nationalism will only prolong the pandemic, not shorten it”.
In a video address at the opening of the three-day World Health Summit in Berlin, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “It is natural that countries want to protect their own citizens first but if and when we have an effective vaccine, we must also use it effectively. And the best way to do that is to vaccinate some people in all countries rather than all people in some countries.”
“Let me be clear: vaccine nationalism will prolong the pandemic, not shorten it,” he said.
The WHO chief also said the only way to recover from the coronavirus pandemic was together and by making sure poorer countries had fair access to a coronavirus vaccine.
The WHO chief’s comments came at a time when scientists around the world are racing to develop a vaccine against coronavirus, which has killed over 1.1 million people. While several dozen coronavirus vaccine candidates are currently being tested in clinical trials, 10 of those are in the most advanced “phase 3” stage involving tens of thousands of volunteers.
On Sunday, the WHO reported a third straight day of record new infections across the world and urged the countries to take action to curb the spread of coronavirus. The agency’s figures showed that 465,319 cases were declared for Saturday alone, half of them in Europe.
“This is a dangerous moment for many countries in the northern hemisphere as cases spike,” Tedros said, adding, “Again and again we have seen that taking the right actions quickly means the outbreak can be managed.”
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his video message, called the pandemic “the greatest crisis of our times” and said, “We need global solidarity every step of the way.”
“A vaccine must be a global public good. Vaccines, tests and therapies are more than lifesavers. They are economy savers and society savers,” Guterres was quoted as saying.