WHO welcomes U.S. move to join effort to boost COVID vaccines, testing, treatments

FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the WHO in Geneva

ZURICH (Reuters) – The World Health Organization’s head on Tuesday welcomed the United States’ move to join a WHO-backed programme to accelerate tools to fight COVID-19, as U.S. President Joseph Biden reverses the Trump Administration’s course.

The programme, formally called Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is raising money to develop vaccines, diagnostics and treatments to tackle the pandemic, but still faces a roughly $27 billion funding gap, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Tedros highlighted the importance of the U.S. decision to join the effort, as he reiterated fears that international collaboration is growing increasingly fragmented, prolonging the pandemic even as new vaccines win approval.

(Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Emma Farge)

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