Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has restated the urgent need for a global and equitable COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
According to the WHO chief, vaccinating equitably would help to curtail the mutation of the virus and the emergence of new variants.
Recall that the WHO alerted over the weekend of a new COVID-19 variant identified in Japan.
The new variant was reported to be a more contagious mutated variant of the coronavirus and was described as “highly problematic” and capable of causing more cases and hospitalisations.
In the last few weeks, new COVID-19 variants have also been discovered in South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Speaking via a video posted on @WHO, the Twitter handle of the global health agency on Tuesday, Dr. Tedros reiterated the need for wealthy nations to stop vaccine nationalism.
“Vaccine nationalism hurts us all and it is self-defeating. But, on the flipside, vaccinating equitably saves lives and would lead to a truly global economic recovery that stimulates job creation.
“However, more importantly, it (vaccinating equitably) would help us to limit the virus’ opportunity to mutate,” he said.
Dr. Tedros restated the WHO call on vaccine manufacturers to supply vaccines to COVAX to enable global rollout and vaccination campaign in less wealthy nations.
“Going forward, I want to see manufactures prioritise supply through COVAX.
“I urge countries that have contracted more vaccines than they need and are controlling the global supply to also donate and release them to COVAX immediately.
“COVAX is ready today to roll out the vaccines quickly. And I urge countries and manufacturers to stop making bilateral deals at the expense of COVAX.
“No country is exceptional and should and should vaccinate all their population while some remain with no supply of the vaccine.
“Science has delivered. Let’s not waste the opportunity to protect the lives of those most at risk and ensure all economies have a fair shot at recovery.
“Remember that ending this pandemic is one of humanity’s great races, and whether we like it or not, we will win or lose this race together,” the WHO chief said.
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