Home Covid-19 Updates WHO – Whole world must benefit from COVID-19 vaccine

WHO – Whole world must benefit from COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine

The head of the World Health Organization hailed the rapid progress towards a COVID-19 vaccine but insisted Friday that every country must reap the benefits.

“A vaccine will be a vital tool for controlling the pandemic, and we’re encouraged by the preliminary results of clinical trials released this week,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, in closing the WHO’s annual assembly.

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech announced Monday that their candidate vaccine had proven 90-per cent effective in ongoing final phase trials involving more than 40,000 people, less than a year after the novel coronavirus emerged in China.

“Never in history has vaccine research progressed so quickly. We must apply the same urgency and innovation to ensure that all countries benefit from this scientific achievement,” said Tedros.

The coronavirus has killed nearly 1.3 million people worldwide while more than 52.7 million cases have been registered, according to a tally from official sources.

However, the tallies probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases.

Tedros said the pandemic had shown there was an urgent need for “a globally-agreed system for sharing pathogen materials and clinical samples”, to facilitate the rapid development of Covid-19 vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics as “global public goods”.

He said the system could not wait for bilateral agreements that could take years to negotiate.

“We are proposing a new approach that would include a repository for materials housed by WHO in a secure Swiss facility; an agreement that sharing materials into this repository is voluntary; that WHO can facilitate the transfer and use of the materials; and a set of criteria under which WHO would distribute them,” said Tedros.

The UN health agency’s director-general thanked Thailand and Italy for offering to provide materials and pioneer the new approach, and Switzerland for offering a laboratory.

WHO member states on Friday approved a resolution on strengthening preparedness for health emergencies.

The resolution calls on countries “to prioritise at the highest political level the improvement of, and coordination for, health emergency preparedness.”

It also urges countries to continue developing their capacities for detecting infectious diseases, in compliance with the International Health Regulations.

The regulations on global health security, approved in 2005 and entering into force two years later, notably regulate how a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) is declared.

They also include specific measures to be implemented at ports, airports and border posts in order to limit the spread of risk.

In Other News – Community helps police arrest rape suspect in Willowvale

The Willowvale community in the Eastern Cape has assisted police in tracking down a man who allegedly raped an elderly woman.

The 29-year-old suspect is believed to have attacked the 73-year-old woman at her home in the Thembeni locality on Thursday while she was sleeping.

man-arrested-handcuffs

She managed to identify her attacker and alerted community members. learn more

Source – eNCA