A ray of hope, but still a lot of questions. The head of the World Health Organization on Friday (November 13) praised the historic speed with which the race for vaccines against the new coronavirus is being waged, but demanded that any “scientific progress” benefits all countries.
“There is no doubt that a vaccine will be an essential tool in controlling the pandemic, and we are encouraged by the preliminary results of clinical trials published this week.” by Pfizer and BioNTech, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the close of the WHO annual meeting.
Less than a year after the WHO office in China reported the onset of the disease at the end of December, the American laboratories Pfizer and German BioNTech reported Monday, November 9 of a vaccine “90% effective” against Covid-19, according to preliminary results of a trial still underway.
“Never in history has vaccine research advanced so rapidly”, underlined the Director General of WHO. “We must show the same urgency and the same spirit of innovation to ensure that all countries benefit from this scientific breakthrough”, he added.
He said the pandemic showed the urgency to set up a “Global system for sharing pathogens and clinical samples, to facilitate rapid development” treatments, vaccines and other therapies, which would thus be established as “global public goods”.
The WHO chief underlined that such “system cannot be based on bilateral agreements, and its negotiation cannot take years”. “We are proposing a new approach which would include a deposit “ pathogens “hosted by WHO in a secure Swiss facility”, he said.