Coronavirus: WHO gains access to nearly 2 billion doses of several ‘promising’ vaccine candidates

Coronavirus: WHO gains access to nearly 2 billion doses of several ‘promising’ vaccine candidates

The head of the World Health Organization said on Friday that the UN health agency’s programme to help get Covid-19 vaccines to all countries in need, whether rich or poor, has gained access to nearly 2 billion doses of several “promising” vaccine candidates.

WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the agreements mean that some 190 countries and economies taking part in the Covax initiative will have access to vaccines “during the first half of next year”.

“This is fantastic news and a milestone in global health,” Tedros, an Ethiopian who goes by his first name, said at a media briefing also attended by Covax and pharmaceutical industry leaders.

WHO and its partners in Covax, the Gavi vaccine alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, were “working non-stop to start vaccination early next year,” he said, stressing that vaccines would not replace but complement techniques already proven to help stem the spread of the virus.