Vaccines for the new coronavirus should be made available as a global public good, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday (June 12), to ensure everyone had fair access to any life-saving products that are developed.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference that any vaccine being a global public good should be promoted and leaders should make a political commitment.
For more on coronavirus, visit our dedicated section.
Tedros was speaking after concerns have been raised that some countries including the United States could hoard any vaccines or drugs they develop to combat COVID-19, with poorer countries not getting access to the treatments they need.
The current situation in Brazil, now one of the global hot-spots for the virus, was of increasing concern especially in cities, the WHO’s top emergency expert Mike Ryan said.
Brazil’s health system was “still coping,” although some intensive care units were at a critical stage and under heavy pressure with more than 90% bed occupancy rates, Ryan said.
Ryan also added that most of the world is still in the first wave of the pandemic.
The organization also said breastfeeding mothers do not seem to be passing on the new coronavirus to their infants, and based on current evidence the benefits outweigh any potential risks of transmission.