The World Health Organization (WHO) has requested the world act as one when any yet to be released COVID-19 vaccine is mass produced.
In his opening video address at the beginning of a three-day summit in the German capital Berlin, the WHO’s Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stressed the need for the world to recover as one, with all nations, rich and poor having access to a vaccine for the virus.
“It is natural that countries want to protect their own citizens first but if and when we have an effective vaccine, we must also use it effectively. And the best way to do that is to vaccinate some people in all countries rather than all people in some countries,” the Ethiopian national said. “Let me be clear: vaccine nationalism will prolong the pandemic, not shorten it.”
Vaccines are being tested around the world with a number now in the all-important clinical trial phase as volunteers are being used as human guinea-pigs to test the overall effectiveness of the drugs produced.
And some of the world’s leading economies including the U.S., Japan, Great Britain and European Union member nations have already placed orders for millions of shots once developed and available.
For now, the virus continues to sow death and heartache worldwide, however, with spikes in several areas including Europe in recent weeks.
“This is a dangerous moment for many countries in the northern hemisphere as cases spike,” Dr. Tedros said in his speech, adding “Again and again we have seen that taking the right actions quickly means the outbreak can be managed.”