GENEVA: Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO), on Friday, September 4, urged countries around the world to work together to fight the coronavirus and said “vaccine nationalism” would only slow the pandemic response. Dr Tedros said the “COVAX” global vaccine allocation plan has been joined by 78 high-income countries bringing the total to 170 nations. He added that that the access to the world’s largest portfolio of vaccines is guaranteed to the nations that have joined the plan.
The COVAX facility, led by the WHO and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI), is aimed at procurement and distribution of vaccination shots fairly around the world. But some countries, including the United States, which secured their own supplies through bilateral agreements, have said that they are not going to join COVAX.
Dr Tedros, during a WHO briefing, said that “Vaccine nationalism will prolong the pandemic,” without mentioning any specific countries. He thanked Germany, Japan, Norway and the European Commission for joining COVAX during the last week.