From WHO chief a last push for countries to join multilateral COVID-19 vaccine effort

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University of Oxford/John Cairns A trial to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus is underway at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute.

GENEVA, SEPTEMBER 17 – Countries which have not signed on to a global mechanism that has pledged to provide fair and timely access to a COVID-19 vaccine, are urged to do so before Friday, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) told a virtual meeting of Member States, held on the eve of the deadline.

As cases “seriously” rise across Europe, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reminded participants that so far, more than 170 countries have expressed interest in joining the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and WHO.

“I urge those countries that have not yet joined COVAX to do so by tomorrow’s deadline for submitting your commitment agreements to Gavi”, Tedros said on Thursday.

The COVAX Facility aims to deliver two billion doses by the end of next year. Last month, there were nine vaccines in its portfolio and another nine under evaluation. As of Thursday, there were more than 29.7 million cases worldwide, including more than 937,000 deaths.

“Vaccines will be a vital tool for bringing the pandemic under control. But we have no guarantee that any one vaccine now in development will work”, Tedros told the meeting underlining his agency’s support for efforts to develop a vaccine to defeat the coronavirus disease.  (@OnuItalia)