The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday called on countries to resist “vaccine nationalism”, as the international community continues to seek a vaccine against COVID-19.
WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke via video link to the GLOBSEC 2020 Forum in Slovakia and said once a vaccine is approved, production will be limited initially and countries must decide who to prioritise.
“It is natural that governments want to protect their own citizens first but once a vaccine is approved, production will be limited initially and we must decide who to prioritise; vaccinating older people, those with underlying conditions, and essential workers in all countries are the best way to stop transmission everywhere, restore confidence, and accelerate the global economic recovery.
“And that’s why we are saying we need to vaccinate some in all countries, rather than all people in some countries. If people in lower-income countries miss out on vaccines, the virus will continue to kill and the recovery will be delayed. So sharing and solidarity is in the interest of each and every nation on earth,” Ghebreyesus said.
By Abel Ejikeme