WHO calls for urgent action to intensify production of COVID-19 vaccines for everyone |


Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.Who is the), He was speaking at the end of a historic weekend COVAX Delivering more than 20 million vaccine doses to 20 countries.

Another 31 countries will receive 14.4 million doses next week.

Barriers and bottlenecks

“This is an encouraging progress, but the volume of doses dispensed through COVAX is still relatively small,” She said Tedros, speaking during his bi-monthly briefing from Geneva.

One of our main priorities now is to increase COVAX’s ambition to help all countries end the pandemic. This means taking urgent measures to increase production. ”

Tedros said the WHO and its COVAX partners will meet with government and industry representatives next week to identify “bottlenecks” and related solutions.

“We currently face many barriers to increasing the speed and volume of production, from export bans to shortages of raw materials, including glass, plastics and seals,” he told reporters.

Assignment of intellectual property rights

The World Health Organization is working on four approaches to the issue, including a call for a waiver of patent rights for vaccines.

“Many countries with vaccine manufacturing capacity can start producing their own vaccines by waiving intellectual property rights, as stipulated in the TRIPS Agreement,” Tedros said, referring to the 1994 agreement adopted by all members of the World Trade Organization. They number 194.

“These provisions exist for emergency use. If now is not the time to use them, then when? This is an unprecedented time, and the World Health Organization believes that this is the right time to initiate this judgment and waive patent rights.”

Partnerships, technology transfer and training

In the short term, the UN agency is working to connect companies that produce vaccines with others with increased capacity to fill and terminate them, citing the partnership between Johnson & Johnson and Merck, announced this week, as an example.

“We need more partnerships like this one, and we need them in all regions,” Tedros said.

The World Health Organization is also calling for bilateral technology transfers, so companies that hold vaccine patents can license them to another company.

“A good example of this approach is AstraZeneca, which has transferred its vaccine technology to SKBio in the Republic of Korea and Serum Institute in India, which produces AstraZeneca vaccines for COVAX,” said Tedros, although he cited the lack of transparency as the main drawback of the approach.

Coordinated technology transfer is a third option, as universities and manufacturers license their vaccines to other companies through a global mechanism coordinated by the World Health Organization. This would also facilitate employee training in receiving companies and coordinate investments in infrastructure.

Tedros said the WHO actually used this approach during the H5N1 bird flu pandemic in the mid-2000s.

Wuhan mission report is coming

Independent experts are investigating the origins of the causative virus Covid-19 They will release their final report later this month, heard the WHO briefing.

Dr. Peter Bin Mubarak, the team leader, said that the findings of the mission to Wuhan – the Chinese city where the outbreak first began more than a year ago – with a brief report, will be released during the week of March 14.

In response to a question from a journalist, he said, “We decided to start publishing and issuing both reports at the same time … because they are following each other and it is logical to issue them together at the same time.”

In January, the experts traveled to the new city of Wuhan Corona Virus It debuted at the end of 2019.

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