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Vaccine nationalism will not help the world: WHO

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 07, 2020 Published on August 07, 2020

If wealthier nations want to contain the virus, then they must share vaccine, says Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Encouraging the sharing of vaccines with the comparatively poorer nations, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday that “vaccine nationalism” is not good and that it will not help the world, Associated France-Presse reported.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that if wealthier nations want to contain the virus, then they must share vaccine. The pandemic cannot be eradicated if poor nations remain exposed to the virus.

“For the world to recover faster, it has to recover together, because it’s a globalised world: the economies are intertwined. Part of the world or a few countries cannot be a safe haven and recover. The damage from Covid-19 could be less when those countries who have the funding committed to this,” he said to Aspen Security Forum in the United States, via video-link from the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva.

He said that the prevalence of the virus anywhere poses a risk to lives everywhere. “They are not giving charity to others: they are doing it for themselves because when the rest of the world recovers and opens up, they also benefit,” he said as cited in the AFP report.

Multiple types of vaccines

The multi-lateral health agency noted that multiple types of vaccines would likely be needed to combat Covid.

“Phase 3 doesn’t mean nearly there,” said the WHO’s emergency director Michael Ryan.

“Phase 3 means this is the first time this vaccine has been put into the general population, into otherwise healthy individuals, to see if the vaccine will protect them against natural infection.

“We’ve got a good range of products across a number of different platforms, across a number of different countries,” he said of the leading candidate vaccines, which use different methods to provide immunity.

Ryan added that “there’s no guarantee that any of these six will give us the answer – and we probably will need more than one vaccine to do this job”.

Tedros said the biggest problem with the US departure was “not about the money”, but the fracture in international solidarity in fighting the virus. “We hope the US will reconsider its position,” he said.

“I urge all leaders to choose the path of cooperation... it’s the only choice we have.”

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Published on August 07, 2020
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