The World Health Organization is in urgent need of at least $100 billion for accelerating its programme of development. Funds are also needed to manufacture a Coronavirus vaccine and to make sure the vaccine is available to everyone. However, the organization suggested it hasn’t raised not even ten percent of the desired target amount.
In April, the WHO launched Acess to Covid-19 Tool (ACT) programme in order to accelerate development, production, provide tests access to people, and vaccines for the virus. The development of a vaccine under this international programme was termed as COVAX.
During a press conference held on Monday, WHO director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus indicated that the international programme launched to fight the disease was not satisfactory in raising the required amount of funds.
Under the initiative, WHO invited countries to join and voluntarily contribute funds to help support the development of a vaccine, build manufacturing capacities, and strengthen the reachability mechanism of tests and vaccines.
“There is a vast global gap between our ambition for the ACT-Accelerator and the amount of funds that have been committed. While we are grateful for those that have made contributions, we are only 10 percent of the way to funding the billions required to realise the promise of the ACT Accelerator,” said Tedros during the conference.
To develop vaccines alone, the organization said it needs at least $100 billion. Tedros added that this amount may sound like a lot of money. But when compared to 10 trillion dollars invested by G20 countries in the present fiscal year to fight the consequences of the pandemic this doesn’t look big.
The vaccine programme for the novel coronavirus is COVAX. Through the initiative, WHO is trying to bring countries to support through their resources for the development of multiple vaccines. All the member countries will have enough vaccines needed for them.
Not only development, this initiative focus to ramp up manufacturing of the vaccine. So, the required number of doses will be available for all countries. Through this programme, the WHO is in the plan to develop at least 2 billion vaccine doses.
The WHO said it believed a safe and effective vaccine would be available very soon. The real problem would be producing enough doses to cater to a country’s population. The main focus would be on middle and low-income countries.
Vaccines under progress
At present, hundreds of vaccines for the novel coronavirus are under development stage. Of these, 30 are under the human trial stage. It is expected that a vaccine will be ready by the end of 2021 while some believe it is possible by the end of 2020 itself.
India has two vaccines under the human trial stage. While most talked about Oxford vaccine conducted successful human trials and it is now testing nearly 15,000 people in Brazil and South Africa.
Today, Russia claimed that it has developed the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine. The Russian health ministry has given regulatory approval for the vaccine developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute. However, questions have been raised against the vaccine, as many experts say that the country is in a hurry to launch a vaccine and not focusing on required protocols.
COVID-19 in India
India has emerged as one of the worst-hit countries in the world. With over 2.2 million recorded cases and 45, 383 deaths reported, the country is facing a serious health emergency. Daily, around 50 thousand new cases are being reported with no hope of flattening the curve.
In India, the Bharat Biotech vaccine and DNA vaccine of Zydus Cadila have completed stage 1 of the trial phase. They will soon begin with stage 2 trials, according to the ICMR. Serum Institute of India received the approval of phase 2 and 3 clinical trials in 17 locations which will start within a week.