COVID-19 vaccines should be made public for global good: WHO director-general

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Political leaders should work to make COVID-19 vaccines accessible to everyone for the global public good, said World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday.

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Ghebreyesus said at a regular press conference held at the WHO headquarters in Switzerland that political commitment is crucial for everyone to have equal access to the vaccine.

“For the fair distribution and specially access to the poor and those who cannot afford, the most important element will be political commitment, especially by our leaders. And with political commitment, of course, that's the only way you can get fair distribution. But one of the worrying patterns we see is some countries moving the other direction,” he said

“And when there is no consensus on having a vaccine, a global public good, it could be actually be owned by those who have money and those who cannot afford it may not have access to the vaccines. Some leaders have already have called and stressed the importance of making, when available, a vaccine or therapeutics global public good.”

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Ghebreyesus also emphasized that vaccines as a global public product should not be regarded as a kind of charity. The WHO has formulating and finalizing a distribution framework. He also said fair distribution of vaccines is beneficial to global economic recovery.

“The advantage of using fairness or access to also poor countries is the world can really be lifted up and lift itself out of this pandemic together, which can speed up the economic recovery and the world, unless it's opened up its major part, I mean unless the whole world is opened up a in this globalized world, it would be a delaying the economic recovery,” said Ghebreyesus.

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