COVID-19 Anniversary: WHO calls for fair vaccine distribution

As health authorities around the world continue to fight COVID-19, provide people with vital care, and tackle the economic downturns occasioned by the pandemic, the head of the World Health Organization has called on these governments to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally.

While marking a year since the first cases of the novel coronavirus were reported by China, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic has taken so many lives and caused massive disruption to families, societies, and economies all over the world and that it was very important to ensure all people at risk everywhere – not just in countries who can afford vaccines – are immunized. He appealed for $4 billion to buy COVID-19 vaccines for distribution in lower and middle-income countries through the COVAX vaccine facility.

“Vaccines offer great hope to turn the tide of the pandemic. But to protect the world, we must ensure that all people at risk everywhere – not just in countries that can afford vaccines – are immunized. To do this, COVAX needs just over 4 billion US dollars urgently to buy vaccines for low- and lower-middle-income countries.” he said.

Dr. Tedros urged that governments must take lessons from the events of 2020 and focus on increasing investment in public health, from funding access to COVID vaccines for all people to making their systems better prepared to prevent and respond to the next, inevitable, pandemic. He noted that it will take time to vaccinate everyone against COVID, and people must therefore keep adhering to tried and tested measures to stop the spread of the virus.

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“Maintaining physical distance, wearing face masks, practicing hand and respiratory hygiene, avoiding crowded indoor places, and meeting people outside. These simple, yet effective measures will save lives and reduce the suffering that so many people encountered in 2020,” said Dr. Tedros.

He challenged the countries not to allow insular, partisan approaches and fight conspiracy theories and attacks on science that would just result in unnecessary suffering to people’s health and societies. He said, “The world must ‘walk the last miles of this crisis together’, helping each other along the way, from sharing vaccines fairly to offering accurate advice, compassion, and care to all who need, as one global family.”

[WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros message: COVID-19 anniversary and looking towards 2021]

The novel coronavirus which has since infected about 81.84 million people and killed more than 1,788,443 was first reported on 31 December 2019 when the WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia unknown etiology detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. From 31 December 2019 through 3 January 2020, a total of 44 case-patients had been reported to have been infected. The WHO would later on 11 and 12 January 2020 receive detailed information from the National Health Commission China that the outbreak was associated with exposures in one seafood market in Wuhan City.

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Enock Bett
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Enock Bett

Digital Media Enthusiast|Tech, Business, Corporate Affairs, Politics, and Governance. [No Modes] EMAIL: [email protected]

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