The chief of the World Health Organization urged COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to ramp up production, calling on them to issue non-exclusive licenses to allow other producers to manufacture their vaccines, just as they did in the past to expand access to treatments for HIV and hepatitis C.
The WHO chief said, “Expanding production globally would also make poor countries less dependent on donations from rich ones. These are unprecedented times and we applaud those manufacturers that have pledged, for example, to sell their vaccines at cost.”
He encouraged the world’s vaccine manufacturers to share their dossiers with the WHO faster and more fully so that the latter can review them for emergency use listing.
Meanwhile, 238 candidate vaccines are in development worldwide – 63 of them in clinical trials – in countries like Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the US, according to information released by the WHO on February 2.