The director-general of the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, hit out Tuesday at what he calls “vaccine nationalism” and outlined those he wants vaccinated first against the coronavirus.
Tedros said “no one is safe until everyone is safe” from the virus and vaccines – not matter their country of origin – must be first sent to those the U.N. body declares are most in need.
“While there is a wish among leaders to protect their own people first, the response to this pandemic has to be collective,” he said at a twice-weekly media briefing.
“This is not charity, we have learned the hard way that the fastest way to end this pandemic and to reopen economies is to start by protecting the highest risk populations everywhere, rather than the entire populations of just some countries.”
“No one is safe until everyone is safe,” he said, before outlining what he claimed was the exemplary success of the W.H.O. in confronting the challenge of the virus first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December.
Exactly how the W.H.O. intends to police vaccine distribution is still to be determined, however it’s generally assumed frontline healthcare workers and those with pre-existing conditions that make them vulnerable to the virus will be first in line.
It is hoped the method is communicated in a clearer fashion than has happened in the past.
Bizarre tweets from embattled W.H.O. General Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus confuse and confound https://t.co/BIQiQcEjlg
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 22, 2020
Tedros did say the W.H.O. wanted to see vaccine allocation rolled out in two phases with 20 per cent of the population in all countries – including healthcare workers and those with certain comorbidities to get it first.
“In phase 1, doses will be allocated proportionally to all participating countries simultaneously to reduce overall risk,” he said.
“In phase 2, consideration will be given to countries’ in relation to threat and vulnerability,”
He said “front line workers in health and social care settings” will be prioritised as they are “essential to treat and protect the population and come in close contact with high-mortality risk groups.”
In May, President Donald Trump’s administration created Operation Warp Speed (OWS) to partner with pharmaceutical corporations in researching, developing, and administering a vaccine for the coronavirus at a record pace.
While that is yet to deliver a viable outcome, in the U.K. the Oxford vaccine – made from a modified chimpanzee cold virus – is regarded as one of the leading prospects in the global race and is already in phase three trials involving large scale testing in various countries.
There are more than 168 vaccines in development with eight in phase three trials, including the Oxford one, the U.S. Moderna version as well as a German and Chinese variations.
Just two have been approved for use so far, including a Chinese version and a Russian vaccine announced last week but met with scepticism, as Breitbart News reported.