The World Health Organization (WHO) vowed on Monday to speed up rolling out safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and their equitable allocation across the world.
“A year on, there have been almost 2 million deaths from COVID-19 and while we are hopeful about the safe and effective vaccines that are being rolled out, we want to see this sped up and vaccines allocated equitably in the coming weeks,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a virtual press briefing.
Tedros said he plans to call on all countries next week to fulfill their pledges to COVAX, an international initiative co-led by WHO and partners to ensure equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines.
“I call for a collective commitment so that within the next 100 days, vaccination for health workers and those at high-risk in all countries are underway,” he said.
“As I have said before and will say again, saving lives, livelihoods and economies depend on a global agreement to avoid vaccine nationalism,” he added.
Meanwhile, Tedros urged vaccine manufacturers from around the world to move swiftly to provide the necessary data which will allow the organization to consider them for emergency use listings.
As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.
Meanwhile, 235 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 63 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by WHO on Jan. 6.