Prioritize people, not countries, says WHO on COVID-19 vaccine distribution

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The World Health Organization stressed prioritization for possible coronavirus vaccines should focus on people, and not countries.

“The first priority must be to vaccinate some people in all countries, rather than all people in some countries,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a Friday briefing.

Ghebreyesus noted that essential workers and at-risk individuals should be the top at the list for initial supply of vaccines.

“We want all people everywhere to have access to vaccines. But initially, when supply is limited, priority must be given to vaccinating essential workers and those most at risk, including older people and those with underlying conditions,” he added.

Tedros said using vaccines effectively across the world is “a global public good” and it is in the “the national interest of each and every country.”

“Vaccine nationalism will prolong the problem, not shorten it,” Tedros said.