GENEVA, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — The World Health Organisation (WHO) called on countries and manufacturers on Friday to provide more help for developing countries to access COVID-19 vaccines against the pandemic.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that multiple steps should be taken to increase the production of COVID-19 vaccines, including technology transfer, voluntary licensing, and a temporary waiver of intellectual property, so as to increase coverage of vaccine or immunisation.
“I hope we will make the right choices,” he said.
“We can’t beat COVID without vaccine equity. Our world will not recover fast enough, without vaccine equity. This is clear,” the WHO chief said, adding that sharing the vaccine is actually the best way to bring lives and livelihoods back to normal and that it is in the interest of all countries to cooperate.
Despite repeated urging by the WHO and other United Nations agencies for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, as well as the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, which includes a provision for a waiver of intellectual property on the vaccines, the world has seemed to lack cooperation and even shown serious resistance regarding vaccine equity, the WHO chief said.
Also on Friday, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution calling for improved access to COVID-19 vaccines in conflict-hit or impoverished regions.
“I’m glad the UN Security Council has voted in favor of vaccine equity. And at the same time, if we’re going to take practical solutions, then a waiver of intellectual property should be taken seriously,” the WHO chief said