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Opinion This is our best chance at defeating the pandemic

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 21.4%. 1 min read.

Richer countries have struck bilateral deals with vaccine manufacturers, securing millions of doses before other countries have had a chance. This has sent a worrying message, write Drs. Keith Rowley and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

And nurse Keisha Prevatt-Gomez, who became the first frontline health worker to be vaccinated in Trinidad and Tobago this week, described "anxiously waiting" for the pandemic to hit.

Meanwhile, health workers in 130 low- and middle-income countries are still waiting to receive the vaccine, according to the United Nations.

Fast forward to 2021, many of those same health workers now lack the protection offered by vaccines.

Initiatives like the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and its vaccine arm, COVAX, have created the only clear global paths for ensuring the world's most vulnerable don't miss out when vaccines, treatments and diagnostics are available.

The ACT-Accelerator -- launched nearly a year ago by the World Health Organization, the President of France, the President of the European Commission and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation -- has played a key role in the research, development, manufacturing and distribution of diagnostic tests, analyzed clinical trials for promising treatments and surveyed more than 100 countries to identify health system bottlenecks.

This is a crucial step and significant boost to the success of the ACT-Accelerator; such support is essential for vaccinating health workers and vulnerable people in all countries.

Pharmaceutical companies must ensure the affordability and accessibility of vaccines, knowing that this will safeguard the health of all people around the world and allow economic recovery to begin.

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