Chinese researchers transferred inactivated coronavirus strain to develop a vaccine. XINHUA
Humans are no strangers to widespread viruses, and each time a vaccine is developed, it gives us hope for the future. Now, the world is waiting for a vaccine to combat COVID-19.
Scientists worldwide have been rolling up their sleeves to work toward an effective novel coronavirus vaccine.
Under the coordination of the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 172 countries have been engaging with the “largest and most diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio”, an initiative known as the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility.
COVAX is “a mechanism for joint procurement and pooling risk across multiple vaccines”. When a vaccine is proven to be safe and effective, all countries within the facility will be able to access it, according to Xinhua.
The initiative aims to ensure that all countries, no matter their economic status, can get the vaccine in a timely manner when one is available. It also makes sure that prices will be kept as low as possible.
“A number of vaccines are now in the final stage of clinical trials,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Aug 24, adding that the goal of COVAX is to deliver at least 2 billion doses of a vaccine by the end of 2021.
According to the WHO, at present, nine potential vaccines are part of the portfolio.
To guarantee the equal access and fair allocation of COVID-19 vaccines, the WHO has said that the world needs to prevent vaccine nationalism – countries putting their own interests ahead of others in trying to secure supplies of a possible vaccine.
为确保新冠疫苗的平等获取与公平分配，世界卫生组织认为全球须防止疫苗民族主义 —— 即国家将自身利益置于他国之上，试图封锁潜在疫苗的供应。
“Vaccine nationalism only helps the virus,” Tedros said, warning that it would lead to a prolonged pandemic if only a small number of countries got most of the supply.
“Like an orchestra, we need all instruments to be played in harmony to create music that everyone enjoys,” he said.
Vaccine development looks promising, as several countries have made substantial progress. Russia began production of its first batch of a COVID-19 vaccine on Aug 15, according to its health ministry. It’s the world’s first registered vaccine. Four Chinese vaccine candidates have started international phase-3 clinical trials.