Vaccine Research and Rollout – Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID – 19): WHO Update (22 February 2021)
The virtual press conference will include special guests joining to discuss COVID-19 vaccine research, development and rollout, in conjunction with the COVID-19 Vaccine Development, Strategy and Implementation Virtual Global Health Symposium, running from 22-26 February.
Professor Lee Bollinger, President, Columbia University
Dr Tony Fauci, Director, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Dr Nancy Messonier, Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
More information on the symposium can be found at https://www.pgh.cuimc.columbia.edu/symposium-vaccines-and-global-health-covid-19-vaccine-development-strategy-and-implementation
“Some high-income countries are entering contracts with vaccine manufacturers that undermine the deals that COVAX has in place and reduce the number of doses COVAX can buy,” WHO chief, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said on Monday (22 Feb) in Geneva.
“If there are no vaccines to buy, money is irrelevant,” Dr Tedros told reporters in Geneva adding “we still face a gap of at least 22.9 billion dollars to fully finance the ACT Accelerator this year.”
The ACT-Accelerator partnership, launched by WHO and partners in April 2020, has supported the fastest, most coordinated, and successful global effort in history to develop tools to fight a disease.
Tedros said “even if we have the funds, we can only deliver vaccines to poorer countries if high-income countries cooperate in respecting the deals COVAX has done, and the new deals it is doing. This is not a matter of charity. It’s a matter of epidemiology. Unless we end the pandemic everywhere, we will not end it anywhere.”
Participating at the press conference via videolink from Washington DC, Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said “the best way to have sustainable capability of being able to respond to outbreaks not only the outbreak of COVID-19 but also the inevitable outbreaks that will also occur in the future is to build capacity within country that is sustainable.”