“We will need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we may have a vaccine. There is hope,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom said at the meeting of WHO’s executive board. A ‘safe and effective’ vaccine against novel Corona virus disease may be ready by year-end, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.
WHO director-general also called for solidarity and political commitment by all leaders to ensure equal distribution of vaccines when they become available. “We need each other, we need solidarity and we need to use all the energy we have to fight the virus,” he said. Nine experimental vaccines are in the pipeline of the WHO-led COVAX global vaccine facility. “Especially for the vaccines and other products which are in the pipeline, the most important tool is political commitment from our leaders especially in the equitable distribution of the vaccines,” Tedros said.
The COVAX facility, led by the WHO and the public-private partnership GAVI vaccine alliance, gives access to COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development. Countries that sign on to COVAX will get access to a broad portfolio of new vaccine candidates to combat COVID-19. So far some 168 countries have joined the COVAX facility, but neither China, the United States nor Russia are among them. The GAVI vaccine alliance’s board earlier approved up to $150 million to help 92 low- and middle-income countries prepare for the delivery of future COVID-19 vaccines, including technical assistance and cold chain equipment.