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Last Updated : Sep 30, 2020 07:14 PM IST | Source: Reuters

WHO chief Ghebreyesus urges more countries to join COVAX as death toll exceeds 1 million

Tedros, addressing the New York event from Geneva, said that 167 countries have now joined the WHO-led COVAX global vaccines facility, representing 70 percent of the world's population, adding: "And the list is growing every day".

Reuters

One million people are confirmed to have lost their lives to COVID-19, but "the real number is certainly higher", World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a high-level United Nations event on September 30.

Tedros, addressing the New York event from Geneva, said that 167 countries have now joined the WHO-led COVAX global vaccines facility, representing 70 percent of the world's population, adding: "And the list is growing every day".

COVAX aims to deliver at least 2 billion doses of approved vaccines by the end of 2021 and to ensure “equitable access”.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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First Published on Sep 30, 2020 07:13 pm
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