We need to prevent coronavirus ‘vaccine nationalism,’ says WHO
Share article:
Share article:

We need to prevent coronavirus ‘vaccine nationalism,’ says WHO

Credit: ITU Pictures / Flickr

The world needs to work together to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, WHO director-general Tedros Adnahom Ghebreyesus told the press on Tuesday.

Ghebreyesus stated that it is understandable for world leaders to protect “their own people first,” but emphasised that the most effective response to this crisis will be a “collective” one.

Combatting the virus has been made more difficult for many countries due to logistical challenges like closing borders and the restriction of air spaces. These limitations have interrupted vital supply chains for items such as protective equipment.

“No one is safe until everyone is safe,” Ghebreyesus said. Cooperation should not be seen as “charity,” but rather as the most effective way to protect the world’s most vulnerable.

“We do it best when we do it together,” Ghebreyesus stated. “We need to prevent vaccine nationalism.”

The WHO director called on countries to work together in the areas of research and medicine, and the supply of much-needed items like vaccines.

Health workers and vulnerable people over the age of 65 or with pre-existing medical conditions will be among the first to receive the vaccine, following the proposal.

Ghebreyesus stated that he had sent out a letter to all WHO members (194 states out of 195, excluding Liechtenstein). In the letter, he asks members to join a multilateral vaccine effort that will see a future vaccine distributed to all countries simultaneously.

On 31 July, the WHO director-general called the pandemic a “once-in-a-century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come.”

With vaccine nationalism, Ghebreyesus may have referred to United States President Donald Trump. In June, the country bought up the world’s stock of Remdesivir, the first coronavirus treatment to be approved by the EU. The European Commission was able to secure 30,000 new Remdesivir treatments at the end of July.

According to Reuters, more than 21.9 million have been infected with the virus worldwide, with 772,647 passing away following infection. Less than 10% of the global population has been shown to possess antibodies that can help protect them from the virus.

Amée Zoutberg
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Over 80,000 companies in Belgium non-compliant with anti-money laundering meassures
Over 80,000 companies and non-profits in Belgium are still not compliant with the Ultimate Business Owner (UBO) register, which is required of them ...
Increase in tax exemption for donations in Belgium fails to meet expectations
The increase from 45% to 60% in the tax exemption for donations, decided by the former federal government in June 2020, has cost Belgium more than ...
Sex workers in Belgium to get more social rights protection
The social rights of sex workers will soon be better protected in Belgium, Belga News Agency reports. The Council of Ministers has approved a draft ...
Belgian firms sent almost 266 billion euros to tax havens last year
Hundreds of Belgian firms sent close to 266 billion euros to tax havens last year, De Tijd reported on Saturday. Any Belgian individual or firm ...
Belgian investigator wins prestigious US prize
Olivier Hardy, an investigator with the federal police’s anti-terrorist unit in Brussels, DR3, received on Friday a "Top Cop" prize in Washington for ...
Pegasus Project: European Parliament awards journalism prize to investigation of use of spyware
The Daphne Caruana Prize for Journalism was awarded on Thursday to the journalists from the Pegasus Project coordinated by the Forbidden Stories ...
Belgians can now test their knowledge of driving rules and win prizes
The Walloon Road Safety Agency (AWSR) launched on Friday a quiz to allow the general public to test their knowledge of the highway code. Last year, ...
600 extras wanted for film about Belgian ‘Porn King’ and notorious Antwerp nightclub
A Belgian movie telling the story of a notorious Antwerp nightclub with connections to a Belgian 'Porn King' is looking for 600 extras at the end of ...
Namur Marathon relaunches after two years on hold
The next edition of the Namur Marathon will take place on April 24, 2022, its organisers announced on Friday, as they also opened registrations. ...
Lidl goes on strike: Half of supermarkets in Belgium closes on Saturday
One in two Lidl shops remained closed on Saturday morning, Lidl spokeswoman Isabelle Colbrandt said. Staff have been on strike for several days to ...
€220 million: Largest ever lottery prize in Europe won in France
A record-breaking €220 million Euromillions jackpot was won on Friday by a player in France, the French gaming authority (FDJ) has announced. The ...
Antwerp exhibition shows first photos after city bombed in 1944
An open-air exhibition in Antwerp will show off never before seen photos as part of a commemoration of the first V-bomb to hit the city, 77 years ...