Jakarta: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has strongly urged countries to shun vaccine nationalism.
"My one hope is that there’s less politicking about health in the year ahead," Tedros told journalists on Tuesday.
"People must come first over short-term profits," said Tedros in his first regular media briefing of the new year.
According to him, vaccinating health workers and those at high risk of serious disease is the fastest way to ensure all essential health services are up and running and that a truly global economic recovery can take place.
To that end, all governments must work together and live up to their commitments to equitable distribution globally.
Last week, WHO cleared the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use and yesterday the rollout of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, developed by Oxford University, began in the United Kingdom (UK)
With 190 countries and economies backing the COVAX international vaccines-for-all initiative, Tedros wants to see all manufacturers quickly channel supplies there to enable rollouts to protect high-risk people globally.