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Fri Sep 4, 2020, 02:07 PM

WHO's Tedros says 'vaccine nationalism' would prolong pandemic

Source: Reuters

WORLD NEWS SEPTEMBER 4, 2020 / 11:50 AM / UPDATED 23 MINUTES AGO

WHO's Tedros says 'vaccine nationalism' would prolong pandemic

Stephanie Nebehay, Emma Farge
3 MIN READ

GENEVA (Reuters) - WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that “vaccine nationalism” would only slow the effort to quash the pandemic and called for vaccines to be used fairly and effectively.

Tedros said 78 high-income countries had now joined the “COVAX” global vaccine allocation plan, bringing the total to 170 countries, and the “number is growing”. He urged others to join by the Sept. 18 deadline for binding commitments.

Joining the plan guaranteed those countries access to the world’s largest portfolio of vaccines, with nine candidates currently in the pipeline, he said, adding that a further four were “promising”.

The WHO and the GAVI vaccine alliance are leading the COVAX facility, aimed at helping buy and distribute vaccination shots fairly around the world.

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“If and when we have an effective vaccine, we must also use it effectively ... In other words, the first priority must be to vaccinate some people in all countries, rather than all people in some countries,” he said, adding that priority should be given to healthcare workers, the elderly and those with underlying conditions.

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-who/whos-tedros-says-vaccine-nationalism-would-prolong-pandemic-idUSKBN25V29K

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