The Director-General of the World Health Organization WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has called for funding research to develop the second generation of COVID-19 vaccines and medicines.
He pointed to the importance of strengthening efforts to work on this ambitious project, which is to develop a comprehensive vaccine that protects all virus mutants and to launch global clinical trials to ensure the safety of these vaccines.
He explained that the current vaccines reduce deaths and the severity of the disease, while the second-generation vaccines will be a big step forward because they will stop and limit the transmission of infection.
Adhanom said: The number of COVID-19 infections is increasing in 110 countries, and has increased over the past week by 20% in three of the six WHO regions, driven by the Omicron PA4 and PA5 mutants.
He pointed out that by the mid-year deadline set by the global vaccination goals of vaccinating 70% of the population of every country in the world, this goal was still not achieved in low-income countries, where hundreds of millions of people did not receive the vaccine, and the average vaccination rate is 13 %, calling for equitable access to vaccines.
He also called on countries to increase surveillance and monitoring of the monkeypox virus, follow the organization’s clinical guidelines for response management, de-stigmatize patients and disseminate quality information that enables people to protect themselves, and regular sharing of data.
He explained that the organization called on scientists to accelerate research and development in tests, treatments, and vaccines for monkeypox, and to develop a treatment protocol.