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About 180 different COVID-19 vaccines are being developed worldwide today

There are currently about 180 vaccines against the coronavirus being developed worldwide, 35 of them are undergoing trials on humans, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing in Geneva on Thursday.

"Around 180 vaccines are now in development, including 35 that are in human trials," he said. "No disease in history has seen such rapid development in research," the Director General stated.

According to the Director General, this "is a testament to the incredible advances in science and technology the world has made in recent years." In relation with that he urged to provide access to vaccines to as many people as possible. Mentioning the ACT Accelerator international partnership initiated by the WHO in April in order to expand access to tools of fighting the coronavirus, he noted that this mechanism "will not be able to deliver on its goals without a significant increase in funding."

To date, the ACT Accelerator has received $2.7 bln in donations which is less than 10% of the amount needed. By the end of 2020 "we need to rapidly scale up our clinical trials, manufacturing, licensing and regulation capacity," the Director General said. He expressed worries that "bilateral vaccine deals and vaccine nationalism could compromise equitable access" of the population to tools of fighting the infection.

The head of the WHO mentioned the first meeting of the Facilitation Council of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) held on Thursday. One of the Council's tasks will be "to mobilize additional resources," he concluded

The international partnership named the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, or ACT-Accelerator, was officially launched on April 24 by the WHO, the EU, France, and Bill and Melinda Gates. As the WHO explained, the new initiative "is a unique partnership of many of the world's international health organizations who have come together to share, and build on, individual expertise to create a powerful global solution that will ensure equity in access to tests, vaccines, treatments across the world with one goal: to reduce the burden of the COVID-19."

[Source: Tass, Geneva, 10Sep20]

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