Vaccine must be affordable for all: UN

18 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

United Nations’ Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday stressed making the coronavirus vaccine, once it is manufactured commercially, affordable and available to mass people, irrespective of borders, reports UNB.

He came up with the call at a press conference ahead of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) High Level Week.    

Guterres noted that the coronavirus outbreak is still out of control and the death toll from the virus would soon reach a one million-mark.

Recognising that many pin their hopes on a vaccine, he said, “Let’s be clear, there’s no panacea in a pandemic”.

“A vaccine alone cannot solve this crisis, certainly not in the near term,” stressed the UN chief. “We need to massively expand new and existing tools that can respond to new cases and provide vital treatment to suppress transmission and save lives, especially over the next 12 months.”

He emphasized that because the virus “respects no borders”, a vaccine must be seen as “a global public good”, affordable and available to all, but it requires “a quantum leap in funding”.

Besides, people must be willing to be vaccinated, but a proliferation of misinformation on vaccines is fueling vaccine-hesitancy, and igniting wild conspiracy theories, noted the UN chief.

He spoke of “alarming reports” that large populations in various countries are reluctant, or outright refusing, to take a new coronavirus vaccine.

“In the face of this lethal disease, we must do our utmost to halt deadly misinformation”, affirmed the Secretary-General.

Guterres called for a global ceasefire back in March, recognising the coronavirus as “the number one global security threat in our world today”.

And next Tuesday he flagged that would renew the appeal at the beginning of the General Debate, for the international community “to mobilise all efforts for the global ceasefire to become a reality by the end of the year”.