WHO says 1 bn Covid vaccine doses secured for low- and middle-income countries

  • WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a Geneva press conference today that 189 countries were participating in the programme

Staff Writer
Updated11 Dec 2020, 10:51 PM IST
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference organized by Geneva Association.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference organized by Geneva Association.(REUTERS)

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday said that almost 1 billion doses of leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates had been secured as part of the COVAX programme to provide vaccines for low- and middle-income countries.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a Geneva press conference today that 189 countries were participating in the programme.

WHO expects to make decisions on whether to give emergency use approval to vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca in coming weeks, its chief scientist said on Friday.

Soumya Swaminathan said the global health body could decide on Pfizer's vaccine candidate in the next "couple of weeks", and later said it could also review Moderna's and AstraZeneca's in a few weeks. WHO approval could allow a vaccine to be deployed in some countries where national medical regulators have not yet been able to evaluate it.

Meanwhile, the overall number of global Covid-19 cases has topped 69.4 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.58 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Friday, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 69,496,859 and 1,580,727, respectively.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 15,599,122 and 292,001, respectively, according to the CSSE.

India comes in second place in terms of cases at 9,767,371, while the country's death toll soared to 141,772.

The other countries with more than a million confirmed cases are Brazil (6,781,799), Russia (2,546,113), France (2,391,643), the UK (1,792,611), Italy (1,787,147), Spain (1,720,056), Argentina (1,482,216), Colombia (1,399,911), Germany (1,270,757), Mexico (1,217,126), Poland (1,102,096) and Iran (1,083,023), the CSSE figures showed.

Brazil currently accounts for the second-highest number of fatalities at 179,765.

The countries with a death toll above 20,000 are Mexico (112,326), the UK (63,179), Italy (62,626), France (57,044), Iran (51,496), Spain (47,344), Russia (44,769), Argentina (40,431), Colombia (38,484), Peru (36,401), South Africa (22,747), Poland (21,630) and Germany (20,737).

With agency inputs

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First Published:11 Dec 2020, 10:51 PM IST
HomeNewsWorldWHO says 1 bn Covid vaccine doses secured for low- and middle-income countries

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