Search for COVID-19 vaccine must be hastened!

The World Health Assembly, under the auspices of the World Health Organisation (WHO), ahead of its virtual 73 summit on the way in Geneva, had sent a request mobilising the signatures of world leaders to support ‘behind a people’s vaccine’ against the COVID-19 pandemic campaign.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in a press release, notes that “our World will only be safer once everyone can benefit from the science and access a vaccine – and that is a political challenge. The world Health Assembly must forge a global agreement that ensures rapid universal access to quality – assured vaccines and treatment, with need prioritised above the ability to pay”.

Indeed, as at now, the global scourge of coronavirus has no cure as it continues to ravage lives on a magnitude scale and ruining fragile economies, creating global economic downturn.

It’s rather refreshing that the World Health Assembly has put the global search for vaccine high on its agenda, and it is fast eliciting positive responses from global leaders, who are buying into the idea of a efficacious and safe vaccine to protect the population and save lives.

Ghanaian Times commends President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his tenacity of purpose in endorsing the need for a safe and efficacious vaccine to be made available freely to save mankind from the ravages of the pandemic.

Vaccines have been used over the years to fight disease and they serve as effective tool, given that when administered on a population, vaccines stimulate the recipient’s immune system by producing immunity to a specific disease and protecting the person from other diseases.

In fact, vaccines have saved mankind from extinction by dangerous pathogens, and the call by the World Health Assembly must be given the political commitment for the realisation of a vaccine that will be affordable to all and sundry.

The world has come a long way in science and technology; we have a built a body of knowledge on epidemiology of diseases, and this is the time to apply the knowledge to subdue the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is no doubt that the search for vaccine entails a lot of work, takes at least a year to come out with a vaccine and some  vaccine candidates have been under rigorous  investigations and trial for decades.

We must hasten, but do so with care because human lives cannot be sacrificed on the altar of speed.

Ghanaian Times notes the urgency with which the scientific community attaches to the search for COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s refreshing that since the outbreak of the disease, scientists have come out with more than 70 vaccine candidates, very few of which are at final stages of clinical trial.

Though we are not yet there, we believe we are close to a groundbreaking safe and efficacious vaccine that will stand the test of time at this difficult moment of our lives.

Ghanaian Times calls on the WHO, global community, especially wealthy nations, to commit more resources to the search for COVID-19 vaccine.

It is imperative to expedite action on the development and deployment of a vaccine for the benefit of all, especially for vulnerable countries, whose social activities and economies have been brought down to their knees by the disease.

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