COVID-19 vaccine: Immediate requirement of $15 billion to fund vaccine development, says WHO

By: |
September 26, 2020 12:06 PM

The World Health Organisation is currently supporting the development of nine COVID-19 vaccines and there are several more under the programme COVAX.

Those tests require processing with specialty lab equipment and chemicals.

Coronavirus vaccine development is something that everyone in the world has their eyes on. With the increasing number of Coronavirus cases across countries, there is a dire need for vaccines to be developed as soon as possible. The World Health Organisation is currently supporting the development of nine COVID-19 vaccines and there are several more under the programme COVAX. However, in order to see through the complete development and availability of Coronavirus vaccines, the WHO requires funds, which the organisation is lacking right now. In a statement by WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, of total $35 billion set for Coronavirus vaccine, WHO needs $15 billion on an immediate basis so that it can fund research and development of COVID-19 vaccines, scale up its manufacturing, secure procurement as well as strengthen delivery systems.

In a speech delivered by Dr Tedros, he highlighted that the money is required as an investment that can be put forth for global recovery from Coronavirus pandemic which has been wreaking havoc for the past nine months and have turned the global economy into a turmoil. “We are not asking for an act of charity,” said the Director-General of WHO.

It is to note that the WHO has laid down a document for Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-Accelerator) that indicates economic arguments for investment purposes and the current financing gap it stands at US $35 billion. According to the organization, the financial requirement is less than 1 per cent of “what G20 governments have already committed to domestic economic stimulus packages.” So far, 67 high-income economies have decided to join COVAX and the WHO is expecting 34 more economies. With the developed means and resources to fight Coronavirus, the organisation aims to support lower-income countries.

Meanwhile, there are nine vaccines globally that have entered the final stage- phase-III of human clinical trials. Once the trials are successful, the vaccines will be developed for mass utilization. In India, eight vaccine candidates have surfaced, out of which, two have reached the second phase of clinical trials. These are Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D. Recently, India’s Serum Institute has signed an agreement with US company Novavax to manufacture this vaccine in India and distribute it to lower and middle income markets.

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