Coronavirus vaccination for health workers and people at particular risk should begin in all countries around the world within the next 100 days. This was demanded by the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in Geneva today.
Ghebreyesus repeatedly criticized “vaccination nationalism” – the fact that wealthy countries have secured virtually all the vaccine doses available, while low- and middle-income countries have hardly launched any vaccination campaigns. Another problem in many places is that many countries are unable to store sensitive vaccines such as those produced by the Mainz-based company Biontech due to a lack of deep-freeze systems.
Support from UN possible
According to Tedros, WHO experts are in China to help vaccine manufacturers Sinovac and Sinopharm meet international standards for approval. WHO also expects more data on the safety and effectiveness of AstraZeneca’s vaccine from the Serum Institute in India. Once WHO’s strict standards are met, emergency approvals could be granted quickly, he said.
Many countries, which unlike the EU or the U.S. do not have their own agencies that can test vaccines, use the WHO emergency approval for their own approval process. UN agencies, too, cannot purchase and distribute vaccine until the WHO has given the green light with emergency approval.
Tedros pointed to the risk of viral mutations, such as those recently reported in Japan. He said the spread can be prevented if people adhere to safety measures despite vaccination programs.
-Source: orf.at/picture: pixabay.com
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