2nd year of pandemic may be deadlier: WHO

GENEVA – The second year of the pandemic of the novel coronavirus infection may result in a higher death toll than the first one, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at a briefing in Geneva on Friday.

"Covid-19 has already cost more than 3.3 million lives, and we are on track for the second year of this pandemic to be far more deadly than the first," he said.

The head of the WHO urged the global community to use "a combination of public health measures and vaccination" in the fight against the pandemic.

Urging those countries that have large volumes of vaccines against the coronavirus infection to share them with those who lack them through the COVAX mechanism, the official named this mechanism "the fastest way to ensure the equitable rollout of vaccines."

COVAX is an international mechanism launched by the WHO jointly with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations which supports the development of industrial capacities and conducts acquisitions.

According to the program’s provisions, high-income countries purchase vaccines thus subsidizing the so-called financed states. Within the framework of the mechanism, it is planned to produce and equitably distribute two billion doses of vaccines worldwide by the end of 2021. (TASS)