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'Vaccine nationalism will prolong the pandemic, not shorten it,' warns WHO

At a time when the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the world, claiming more than 1.1 million lives all over the world, he asked for countries to show solidarity and unite for the cause

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | October 26, 2020 | Updated 13:46 IST
'Vaccine nationalism will prolong the pandemic, not shorten it,' warns WHO
World Health Organisation (WHO) chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The relentless coronavirus pandemic which hit the world in the beginning of this year is far from over. The World Health Organisation (WHO) chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Sunday, warned against vaccine nationalism as it will only prolong the pandemic. At a time when the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the world, claiming more than 1.1 million lives all over the world, he asked for countries to show solidarity and unite for the cause.

In a video address at the inception of the three-day World Health Summit in Berlin, Ghebreyesus said, "It is natural that countries want to protect their own citizens first but 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."

"Let me be clear, vaccine nationalism will prolong the pandemic, not shorten it," he said. Speaking at the same summit, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres said , "We need global solidarity every step of the way."

Developed countries like the US, Britain, Japan and the EU have already placed large orders with companies involved in developing promising vaccines. This puts other nations with smaller pockets at jeopardy of being at the back end of the queue, putting their country's population at risk.

The WHO has launched Covax, an international scheme to aid equitable access to jabs, but it has struggled to raise enough funds. Both, the WHO chief and the UN Secretary General echoed the plea for developed countries to support those with fewer resources.

The WHO on Sunday reported record new infections across the world, for third day straight, calling on countries to take steps to further curb the propagation of the virus.

Also read: All citizens to get free coronavirus vaccine: Union Minister Pratap Sarangi

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