UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has described the recent breakthroughs towards development of Covid-19 vaccines as a “ray of hope” that needs to reach everyone and called on the G-20 nations to support the global collaboration to accelerate development of coronavirus treatments and drugs. Addressing the news conferance said that but that ray of hope needs to reach everyone.
“That means ensuring that vaccines are treated as a global public good — accessible and affordable to everyone, everywhere. A people’s vaccine. This is not a ‘do-good’ exercise. It is the only way to stop the pandemic dead in its tracks,” he said. Asserting that “solidarity is indeed survival”, Guterres said that the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and its COVAX Facility are the vehicles to get nations there. Guterres said that over the past seven months, countries have invested USD 10 billion in the effort to develop vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics but that USD 28 billion more are needed — including USD 4.2 billion before the end of the year. He said there are now more than 160 countries that have committed to the COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.
Based on current projections, the companies expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021. The major announcement came just days after Moderna said its virus vaccine has an efficacy rate of 94.5 per cent. The coronavirus has infected more than 55 million people around the world and killed over 1.3 million people even as governments implemented strict lockdowns and restrictions to slow the spread of the virus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan. A second wave of infections is threatening to derail economies and impact lives again as countries had gradually begun to ease restrictions and open up.