World Health Organization (WHO) chief Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus has warned nations that hoarding possible COVID-19 vaccines while excluding others will deepen the pandemic.
Dr. Tedros in his address impressed on countries the importance of joining a global vaccine pact.
The WHO has an August 31 deadline for wealthier nations to join the “COVAX Global Vaccines Facility” for sharing vaccine hopefuls with developing countries.
Dr. Tedros said he sent a letter to the WHO’s 194 member states, urging participation.
“Nationalism exacerbated the pandemic and contributed to the total failure of the global supply chain,” he said, noting that hoarding by some countries led to shortages of protective gear in the early days of the pandemic.
He said that the world’s interconnectedness means that “a vaccine developed in one country may need to be filled in vials with stoppers that are produced in another, using materials for the high-grade glass that is only available from yet another country.”
“Sharing finite supplies strategically and globally is actually in each country’s national interest,” Tedros said.
The global health agency also raised concerns that the pandemic’s spread was being driven now by younger people, many of whom were unaware they were infected, posing a danger to vulnerable groups.
According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, since the start of the pandemic, there have been nearly 22 million coronavirus cases worldwide, with nearly 776,000 deaths.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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