Many Countries Can Expect Vaccine Delivery In Early 2021, WHO Says, Warning Pandemic Not Over

Health Policy Watch: Most Countries Can Expect Vaccine Supply in Early 2021 — But The Pandemic is Far From Over, Warns WHO
“While the U.K. and U.S. are likely to start vaccinating its citizens against COVID-19 before the end of the year, the 189 countries that are part of the COVAX initiative should expect to start getting vaccines towards the end of the first quarter of 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. Currently through COVAX, the vaccine arm of the WHO-led Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, WHO has agreed deals that could provide 700 million doses of a COVID vaccine. ‘But that’s not sufficient,’ said Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO’s Chief Scientist, at a media briefing on Friday…” (Cullinan, 12/4).

Reuters: WHO hopes to have 500 million vaccine doses via COVAX scheme in first quarter of 2021 — chief scientist
“… ‘The goal is to get at least 2 billion doses by end of 2021 which will be enough to vaccinate 20% of the populations of countries that are part of COVAX,’ chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan told a Geneva news conference. This would be enough to ‘bring to an end the acute phase of the pandemic’ by reducing mortality and the impact on health systems, she said…” (Nebehay/Shields, 12/4).

U.N. News: It isn’t over: WHO concerned at ‘growing perception’ COVID pandemic is passing
“The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) sounded the alarm on Friday over the ‘growing perception’ that the COVID-19 pandemic is over, despite exploding infection rates in some countries and enormous pressure growing on health services. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists at the regular Geneva briefing that progress on vaccines, in recent days, ‘gives us all a lift, and we can now start to see the light at the end of the tunnel’…” (12/4).

Additional coverage of vaccine development and distribution is available from Bloomberg, Financial Times, Health Policy Watch, The Lancet, New Yorker, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and Washington Post (2).

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