The World Health Organisation (WHO) has emphasized the need for an increase in the production of coronavirus vaccines, saying global herd immunity is far from being accomplished.

This comes as diplomats from South Africa and India work on revising the text of a proposal, presented last October,  which requests that the World Trade Organisation allow for a waiver of patent protections on COVID-19 vaccines to help make the vaccinations more accessible to everyone.

WHO head, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, was speaking during a virtual media briefing in Geneva, Switzerland.

“If we are going to vaccinate the majority of the adults to bring herd immunity, then the amount of vaccines we need will be significantly more than what we have now. So the production capacity should increase and that is why the IP waiver will be very important and I would like to thank India and South Africa for proposing the IP waiver. We see more countries joining SA and India in favour of the IP waiver and I hope other countries will be convinced to make this a reality.”

WHO update on COVID-19 and vaccines:

COVAX to buy 500 million doses of Moderna vaccine:

The WHO says the COVAX global coronavirus vaccine programme has struck a deal to buy 500 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine. The WHO listed the American pharmaceutical firm’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use – the fifth to be given the status.

Ghebreyesus says, “On Friday, the WHO gave emergency use listing to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine – making it the 5th to receive the WHO validation. Emergency use listing is one prerequisite for vaccines to be purchased and supplied through COVAX. It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval and to import and administer the vaccine. We are pleased to note an agreement has been signed with Moderna for 500 million doses of vaccines on behalf of COVAX.”