World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has remarked that there is a real hope to end the pandemic. He said a real hope that vaccines, in combination with other tried and tested public health measures, will help to end the pandemic. This came after the drugmaker AstraZeneca announced on Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine, developed with Oxford University, was up to 90 percent effective.
Pfizer and Moderna have already reported late-stage data for a potential COVID-19 vaccine, AstraZeneca announcement makes it the third major drug company people know about 90% completion. "The significance of this scientific achievement cannot be overstated. No vaccines in history have been developed as rapidly as these. The scientific community has set a new standard for vaccine development," Tedros added. Now the puzzle lies in access. The director asked the international community to set a new standard for access, as "the urgency with which vaccines have been developed must be matched by the same urgency to distribute them fairly."
He expressed his concern for the poorest and most vulnerable countries access to vaccines. WHO established the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator to support global efforts in developing vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, and has joined so far 187 countries in the COVAX facility to collaborate on the procurement and rollout of vaccines, ensuring affordable prices, volumes and timing for all countries. The chief says $4.3 billion is needed to support mass procurement and delivery of vaccines, tests and treatment and an additional US $23.8 billion will be needed next year.