The World Health Organization has made a surprising — though hardly unexpected — declaration on new vaccines.
“These are morally unjustifiable,” said Margaret Chan, the WHO’s director-general, while launching a review of vaccines by The Lancet medical journal.
Covid-19, a new vaccine that helps prevent the deadly diseases that once plagued Western cities, is currently being tested in Britain, and is the only vaccine of its kind currently approved in that country.
Chan announced a “crucial” review of all new and used vaccines during the World Health Assembly annual meeting.
“The evaluation should not be confined to future applications. It must be robust and exhaustive,” Chan added.
The review will be discussed over the next five years, with the final decision made by health ministers at the World Health Assembly in 2020.
According to The Washington Post, the WHO’s review will “look at whether current drugs are useful, safe and are safe for the population, considering if they should be replaced with new ones.”
In a statement, Britain’s chief medical officer, Sally Davies, added that she hoped the review “will support the future of public health.”
Canada has already stopped releasing a competing flu vaccine, which recently passed its best-ever survival rate in a study, according to The Globe and Mail.
In her review, Chan said “people are suffering from preventable diseases” and that the review should look into the use of new vaccines and assess whether these should “be used in all situations.”
Covid-19 has been lauded as one of the “most-used” vaccines in Britain, but was only cleared in 2016.
How this new vaccine works has been the subject of much debate. The WHO is not discussing other possibilities, such as a booster that would be released later in the development process, according to The Washington Post.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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