WHO's Tedros hails 'historic' US support for Covid-19 vaccine patent waiver

WHO's Tedros hails 'historic' US support for Covid-19 vaccine patent waiver
WHO's Tedros hails 'historic' US support for Covid-19 vaccine patent waiver

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote on Twitter that the move was a step towards vaccine equity, ‘prioritising the well-being of all people everywhere at a critical time’. — Reuters pic

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GENEVA, May  6 ― World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus yesterday hailed the United States' support for a global waiver on patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines, describing it as a “historic decision”. 

The WHO chief wrote on Twitter that the move was a step towards vaccine equity, “prioritizing the well-being of all people everywhere at a critical time”.

“Now let's all move together swiftly, in solidarity, building on the ingenuity and commitment of scientists who produced life-saving Covid-19 vaccines,” he added.

Tedros has for months pleaded for such a patent waiver ― an idea backed by India and South Africa ― arguing this would help to ramp up production and make Covid-19 vaccines much more accessible for poorer nations.

“If not now, when?” has become a frequent refrain from the WHO chief, who has lashed out repeatedly against perceived vaccine-hoarding by richer nations.

Tedros clashed repeatedly with former US president Donald , who began withdrawing his country from the WHO before President Joe Biden immediately rescinded the move upon taking office in January.

A later tweet from the WHO chief on Tuesday appeared to confirm that things had got off to a better start with Biden.

“This is a monumental moment in the fight against #COVID19,” he said of US support for the patent waiver, describing Biden's commitment as “a powerful example of leadership to address global health challenges”. ― AFP

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