World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday that 184 countries are now part of the COVAX Facility, the global initiative that brings together governments and manufacturers to ensure eventual COVID-19 vaccines reach those in greatest need.
WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan provided an update on the search for a vaccine saying 45 candidate vaccines are in Phase 3 of their development and they are likely looking at a projected roll-out near the middle of 2021.
Swaminathan said those in high risk groups will be vaccinated first which means a few people in all countries will get the vaccine first.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the planet has surpassed 40 million, but experts say that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the true impact of the pandemic.
The milestone was hit Monday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University, which collates reports from around the world.
The U.S., India and Brazil are reporting by far the highest numbers of cases — 8.1 million, 7.5 million and 5.2 million respectively — although the global increase in recent weeks has been driven by a surge in Europe, which has seen over 240,000 confirmed virus deaths in the pandemic so far.
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