Vaccine alone cannot defeat coronavirus – UN chief

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has warned that vaccine alone cannot defeat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Guterres gave the warning while briefing newsmen in New York on Wednesday ahead the UN General Assembly (UNGA) High Level Week starting on Monday.

“A vaccine alone cannot solve this crisis; certainly not in the near term,” he told newsmen.

The warning comes as the world eagerly awaits a vaccine to defeat the pandemic, which the UN Chief said had reached the “grimmest of milestones”.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were no fewer than 29.4 million confirmed cases, including 931,321 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation.

Guterres recommended massive expansion of “new and existing tools that can respond to new cases and provide vital treatment to suppress transmission and save lives, especially over the next 12 months.

“But starting now, a vaccine must be seen as a global public good because COVID-19 respects no borders.

“We need a vaccine to be affordable and available to all. A people’s vaccine.

“That means a quantum leap in funding for the ACT-Accelerator and its COVAX Facility.”

The UN Chief also drew attention to what he called “vaccine hesitancy”, which he blamed on misinformation.

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