WHO: $100b needed for universal supply of COVID-19 vaccine

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: begins self-isolation for coronavirus
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: COVID-19 vaccine for everyone will cost $100b

By Xinhua/NAN

More than 100 billion dollars will be needed to ensure everyone globally can access the vaccine to fight COVID-19, the Director-General of World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus said today.

Ghebreyesus stated this during a virtual news conference in Geneva.

“This sounds like lots of money and it is.

“But it is small in comparison to the 10 trillion dollars that have already been invested by G20 countries in fiscal stimulus. to deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic so far.”

He said that the next three months would present a crucial window of opportunity to scale-up the work of the ACT-Accelerator, a WHO-sponsored global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.

Ghebreyesus, however, said to exploit this window “we have to fundamentally scale up the way we are financing the ACT-Accelerator and prioritise the use of new tools.’’

According to the WHO chief, there is a vast global gap between the ambition for the ACT-Accelerator and the amount of funds that have been committed.

“We are only 10 per cent of the way to funding the billions required to realise the promise of the ACT Accelerator,” he said.

As registered cases of COVID-19 reach 20 million and 750,000 deaths, the WHO chief stressed that “behind these statistics is a great deal of pain and suffering.”

“Leaders must step up to take action, and citizens need to embrace new measures,” he said.