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Initial dose of vaccine to healthcare workers, senior citizens important

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday said it’s important to provide the novel coronavirus vaccine to those at highest risk around the world which includes health-workers and senior citizens with certain diseases that put them at higher risk of dying due to COVID-19.

“Initially, when there will be limited supply, it’s important to provide the vaccine to those at highest risk around the world. This includes health workers, as they are on the frontlines in this pandemic & critical to saving lives & stabilising the overall health system,” WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“It also includes people over 65-years-old and those with certain diseases that put them at higher risk of dying from COVID19,” he added.

The WHO DG said currently 172 countries are engaged with the COVAX, global vaccines facility, which has both the largest and most diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio in the world.

“The Facility is the critical mechanism for joint procurement and pooling risk across multiple vaccines so that whatever vaccine is proven to be safe and effective – all countries within the facility will be able to access them,” he added.

COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO, which aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID vaccine

The DG said at present there are nine vaccines that are part of this dynamic portfolio, and they are constantly being reviewed and optimised to ensure access to the best possible range of products.

“Even now, discussions are ongoing with four more producers… and a further nine vaccines are currently under evaluation for the longer term,” he added. Tedros said investing in the COVAX facility is the fastest way to end this COVID-19 pandemic and ensure a sustainable economic recovery.

“The success of the facility hinges not only on countries signing up to it but also filling key funding gaps for both the research and development work and to support lower-income economies within the facility,” he added. – Times Now News

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