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World Health Organization officials are holding a press conference on Friday to update the public on the coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 97.6 million people across the world.
Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, which manufactures one of the Covid-19 vaccines that’s been authorized in the U.S. and Europe, is scheduled to join WHO officials at the virtual briefing. Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of the public-private immunization partnership Gavi, and Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, are also scheduled to join the briefing.
Earlier this week, the WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the world is on the brink of a “catastrophic moral failure” if it doesn’t fairly distribute the available doses of the Covid-19 vaccines across the world. He added that the discovery of several more transmissible strains of the virus in different parts of the world increases the urgency of the vaccine rollout.
“It’s not right that younger, healthier adults in rich countries are vaccinated before health workers and older people in poorer countries,” he said Monday. “There will be enough vaccine for everybody, but right now we must work together as one global family to prioritize [those] most at risk of serious diseases and death in all countries.”
The WHO, in partnership with Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, established the COVAX facility last year to ensure equitable vaccine access for every country in the world. It aims deliver 2 billion doses of safe, effective vaccines by the end of 2021.