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COVID-19 Explainer: World Health Organisation’s Struggle For A Global COVID-19 Vaccine Plan

The COVAX global vaccines facility is a program designed to pool funds from wealthier countries and non-profits to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and distribute it equitably around the world

Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine’s Phase Two Trial Begins At Pune Hospital
  • COVAX program is led by WHO, Gavi vaccine alliance, and CEPI
  • COVAX aims to deliver 2 billion doses of effective, approved COVID vaccines
  • The target is to deliver COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021

(Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday (August 18) urged countries to join a global pact aimed at ensuring less wealthy countries have access to COVID-19 vaccines, warning about the risks from so-called “vaccine nationalism.” Here is a look at the WHO’s plan and the approaches by wealthier nations.

What Is The WHO’s Vaccine Program?

The COVAX global vaccines facility is a program designed to pool funds from wealthier countries and non-profits to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and distribute it equitably around the world. Its aim is to deliver 2 billion doses of effective, approved COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.

Also Read: Status Of Various Candidate Vaccines For COVID-19 Presented Before Government: Health Ministry

The details of the program are still being hashed out ahead of an August 31 deadline for nations to join. It is led by the WHO, along with the Gavi vaccine alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

COVAX is part of a broader program, called the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, that works to ensure that vaccines, treatments, diagnostic tests and other healthcare resources are broadly available to combat the pandemic.

What Are Wealthier Nations Doing?

They have focused on securing vaccines for their own citizens, striking deals for the first doses even as data has yet to prove the vaccines to be effective.

Governments including United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the European Union have spent tens of billions of dollars on deals with vaccine makers such as Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca Plc and others. The United States alone has committed nearly $11 billion for development, testing, manufacture and stockpiling of hundreds of millions of doses.

Also Read: Once We Get Vaccine, COVID Warriors Will Be First Ones To Get Dose: Union Minister Of State For Health

Russia and China are also working on vaccines and have already begun vaccinating some of their citizens.

What Kind Of Resources Are Being Brought To Bear?

The ACT Accelerator is financed by a variety of non-profits and governments. It is aiming to raise about $31 billion.

So far, the COVAX facility has attracted interest from 92 poorer countries hoping for voluntary donations and 80 wealthier countries, a number little changed from a month ago, that would finance the scheme, according to the WHO.

Also Read: Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Candidate For COVID-19 Induces Immune Response In Early-Phase Clinical Trial: Study

What Is The WHO’s Concern?

The WHO has expressed concern that wealthier countries hoarding vaccines for their own citizens could impede efforts to end the pandemic.

“We need to prevent vaccine nationalism,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a Tuesday virtual briefing. “Sharing finite supplies strategically and globally is actually in each country’s national interest.”

WHO leaders have said that developing a coordinated global distribution system for COVID-19 vaccines that prioritize those at greatest risk of getting sick, such as healthcare workers, would help curb the spread of coronavirus worldwide.

Also Read: COVID-19 Explainer: When Will A Coronavirus Vaccine Be Ready?

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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