GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization’s chief scientist said on Thursday that any country that supports the COVAX financing initiative has a better chance of getting a successful COVID-19 vaccine.
Soumya Swaminathan told a news briefing in Geneva that the more countries that joined COVAX, a scheme designed to guarantee fast and equitable access globally to COVID-19 vaccines, the greater its chances of success.
More than 75 countries have expressed an interest in joining COVAX, which is co-led by the GAVI vaccines alliance, the WHO and the CEPI Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. Its aim is to deliver 2 billion doses of effective, approved COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.
Some global health agencies are concerned about wealthier countries going it alone in the race for a coronavirus vaccine, striking deals with drugmakers to secure millions of doses of promising candidates for their own citizens.
(Reporting by Michael Shields, Kate Kelland and Josephine Mason; Editing by Alex Richardson)