WHO chief urges fair vaccine distribution on Covid-19 anniversary

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The director-general of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urged for the equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines globally in a message marking the first anniversary of the first report on a disease which became a global pandemic.

It was on 31 December, 2019, that a report was published on a cluster of cases of “pneumonia of unknown cause” that had been identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The cause was later identified as a new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and the respiratory disease it caused was named Covid-19.

Dr Ghebreyesus highlighted that the pandemic triggered the “triggered the fastest and most wide-reaching response to a global health emergency in human history,” leading to the development of diagnostics, therapies and vaccines in record speed.

The development of Covid-19 vaccines helped provide a light at the end of the tunnel, but emphasised the importance of ensuring that everyone should have access to them.

“We must ensure that all people at risk everywhere, not just in countries who can afford vaccines, are immunized,” Ghebreyesus said.

Through its Covax initiative, the WHO has secured 2 billion doses from vaccine candidates with the aim of ensuring an equitable distribution of vaccines, but it is nevertheless feared that it may take up to 2024 for poorer countries to secure enough doses to inoculate their population.