WHO warns against “vaccine nationalism”

The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Sunday called for global solidarity in the rollout of any future COVID-19 vaccine, as the number of cases soared across the world.

In a video address at the opening of the three-day World Health Summit in Berlin, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the only way to recover from the coronavirus pandemic was together and by making sure poorer countries had fair access to a vaccine.

“Let me be clear: vaccine nationalism will prolong the pandemic, not shorten it,” Ghebreyesus said.

UN’s health agency head further stated: “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.”

Scientists around the world are racing to develop a vaccine against coronavirus, which has killed over 1.1 million people globally.

The WHO has launched an international scheme known as Covax to help ensure equitable access to jabs, but it has struggled to raise the funds needed.

A day before, WHO has warned that some countries are on a “dangerous track”, with too many witnessing an exponential increase in cases.

The World Health Organization’s coronavirus dashboard on Sunday showed a third consecutive daily record high in the number of new confirmed cases. International news agencies report that the WHO’s complete figures for Saturday showed that 465,319 cases were confirmed to the UN health agency during the day, topping the 449,720 recorded on Friday and the 437,247 logged on Thursday.