Explainer: World Health Organization's struggle for a global COVID-19 vaccine plan
By Carl O'Donnell (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday urged countries to join a global pact aimed at ensuring less wealthy countries have access to COVID-19 vaccines, warning about the risks from so-called 'vaccine nationalism.' Here is a look at the WHO's plan and the approaches by wealthier nations. WHAT IS THE WHO'S VACCINE PROGRAM? The COVAX global vaccines facility is a program designed to pool funds from wealthier countries and nonprofits to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and distribute it equitably around the world.
By Carl O'Donnell
(Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday urged countries to join a global pact aimed at ensuring less wealthy countries have access to COVID-19 vaccines, warning about the risks from so-called "vaccine nationalism." Here is a look at the WHO's plan and the approaches by wealthier nations.
WHAT IS THE WHO'S VACCINE PROGRAM?
The COVAX global vaccines facility is a program designed to pool funds from wealthier countries and nonprofits to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and distribute it equitably around the world. Its aim is to deliver 2 billion doses of effective, approved COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.
The details of the program are still being hashed out ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline for nations to join. It is led by the WHO, along with the Gavi vaccine alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
COVAX is part of a broader program, called the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, that works to ensure that vaccines, treatments, diagnostic tests and other healthcare resources are broadly available to combat the pandemic.
WHAT ARE WEALTHIER NATIONS DOING?
They have focused on securing vaccines for their own citizens, striking deals for the first doses even as data has yet to prove the vaccines to be effective.
Governments including United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the European Union have spent tens of billions of dollars on deals with vaccine makers such as Pfizer Inc
Russia and China are also working on vaccines and have already begun vaccinating some of their citizens.
WHAT KIND OF RESOURCES ARE BEING BROUGHT TO BEAR?
The ACT Accelerator is financed by a variety of nonprofits and governments. It is aiming to raise about $31 billion.
So far, the COVAX facility has attracted interest from 92 poorer countries hoping for voluntary donations and 80 wealthier countries, a number little changed from a month ago, that would finance the scheme, according to the WHO.
WHAT IS THE WHO'S CONCERN?
The WHO has expressed concern that wealthier countries hoarding vaccines for their own citizens could impede efforts to end the pandemic.
“We need to prevent vaccine nationalism,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a Tuesday virtual briefing. “Sharing finite supplies strategically and globally is actually in each country’s national interest.”
WHO leaders have said that developing a coordinated global distribution system for COVID-19 vaccines that prioritize those at greatest risk of getting sick, such as healthcare workers, would help curb the spread of coronavirus worldwide.
(Reporting by Carl O'Donnell; Editing by Andrea Ricci)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.