WHO wants to speed up rollout of Covid-19 vaccines: Tedros

Geneva, Jan 12 : The World Health Organization (WHO) wants to speed up rolling out safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines and their equitable allocation across the world, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

"A year on, there have been almost 2 million deaths from Covid-19 and while we are hopeful about the safe and effective vaccines that are being rolled out, we want to see this sped up and vaccines allocated equitably in the coming weeks," Xinhua news agency quoted the WHO chief as saying at a virtual briefing on Monday.

Tedros said he plans to call on all countries next week to fulfil their pledges to COVAX, an international initiative co-led by WHO and partners to ensure equitable global access to Covid-19 vaccines.

"I call for a collective commitment so that within the next 100 days, vaccination for health workers and those at high-risk in all countries are underway.

"As I have said before and will say again, saving lives, livelihoods and economies depend on a global agreement to avoid vaccine nationalism," he added.

Meanwhile, Tedros urged vaccine manufacturers from around the world to move swiftly to provide the necessary data which will allow the organization to consider them for emergency use listings.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorised coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 235 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 63 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, the UK and the US, according to the WHO.

Tedros' remarks come as the overall global coronavirus caseload has topped 90.8 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.94 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Tuesday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 90,872,905 and 1,943,943, respectively.



Source: IANS