COVID-19 is "still evolving" and "progressing around the world," threatening to make the second year of the global pandemic "more deadlier than the first,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned this week.
"It is not surprising, therefore, that there is now a vast global coalition of NGOs, states and UN agencies that favour the recognition of vaccines (and health in general) as a public good and not a business, and the consequent temporary suspension of patent rights."
This week, the global death toll from COVID-19 topped 3 million, and cases topped 140 million, two heartbreaking milestones accompanied by burgeoning global COVID-19 vaccine “apartheid”, emerging deadly virus variants and mutations, increasing prevalence of vaccine “blood clots” and side-effects, vaccination pauses and restrictions, and the racist politics around the global distribution of life-saving vaccines.
Safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are on the horizon. And yet, “there is now a real risk that the poorest and most vulnerable will be trampled in the stampede for vaccines” the moment these life-saving vaccines hit the global market, says WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.