Leaders across the globe supported the new initiatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) as the international health organization urged all countries to join hands together to accelerate work on drugs, tests, and vaccines against COVID-19 and to share them around the world.
The United States (US) has decided not to involve in WHO’s initiatives and to work alone in a search to find a vaccine for the widespread contiguous disease. Among the noted leaders, French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen participated in a videoconference when the organization announced the plan.
WHO’s Initiatives for COVID-19
In the videoconference meeting of the world leaders, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday, April 24, 2020, “We are facing a common threat which we can only defeat with a common approach.” Citing the needs for the cooperation among the countries in the search of finding a vaccine for COVID-19, he added, “The world needs these tools and needs them fast,”
On late Thursday, the WHO declared to announce a “landmark collaboration” on Friday regarding the speed development of safe and effective drugs, tests, and vaccines to prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19, the lung disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Ahead of the global leaders meeting, a spokesman for the US mission in Geneva told Reuters about the US position indicating that the country would not take part in the WHO’s missions.
The US spokesperson declared in an email, “There will be no U.S. official participation… We look forward to learning more about this initiative in support of international cooperation to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 as soon as possible.” A week ago, US President Donald Trump had suspended US funding to the UN agency criticizing that the international organization was being “China-centric” and had failed to prevent the spread of the virus outbreak.
Searching for a Vaccine Worldwide
The virus pandemic has infected more than 2.7 million people worldwide and killed nearly 190,000 people since the virus erupted in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. Scientists and medical experts across the globe are in the struggle to find a vaccine to cure the widespread contagious disease.
Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI vaccine alliance, which is a public-private partnership that leads immunization campaigns in poor countries, said that more than 100 potential COVID-19 vaccines had been developed currently across the globe and six of them were put under clinical trials. He told a separate Geneva news briefing, before taking part in the formal WHO announcement, “We need to ensure that there are enough vaccines for everyone, we are going to need global leadership to identify and prioritize vaccine candidates.”
Citing the attempts made by GAVI and the World Bank in addressing the pandemic issues, Berkley suggested that global capacity for manufacturing drugs must be increased before “a winner” vaccine was found out. He claimed, “We can’t have a repeat of what happened in 2009 – the H1N1 vaccine, when there was not enough supply for developing countries or when supply did come it came much later.”
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