The director general of WHO (World Health Organization), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced on Tuesday that there is hope that a vaccine is ready by the end of the year.
“We will need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we can have one. There is hope,” he said.
Without giving details, he made the statement at the end of the summit that dealt with WHO reform.
The international vaccine consortium works with nine companies to allow 2 billion doses to be distributed from 2021 onwards. The project, however, is experiencing serious financial problems, as governments insist on closing bilateral agreements with companies.
Tedros’ tone is radically different from a warning he launched in the middle of the year that there was a risk that a vaccine would never be found.
With 35 million cases and more than 1 million deaths in the pandemic of the new coronavirus, the agency maintains a public discourse that there is still a way to stop the covid-19 with distance measures. But behind the scenes, the organization’s management estimates that the lack of international cooperation and the political contamination of the debate will prevent a response that does not involve a vaccine.
Statement comes after developments in talks with Chinese
Yesterday, WHO made it clear that the pandemic continued to gain momentum, with 2 million new cases per week and the return in certain regions.
The declaration of optimism coincides with the news that the Chinese government has started to hold meetings with the WHO to allow a Beijing vaccine to receive a stamp from the entity for an emergency use.
Within the agency, however, the message is that security measures and scientific guarantees will not be ignored just to ensure that there is a final product.
Audit criticizes WHO for ignoring social realities in pandemic recommendations
The meeting also served, for the first time, for a WHO internal audit to question the summit of the organization for ignoring social realities by proposing population isolation and physical distance in places where such measures were considered “impossible” to be implemented.
The question was presented this Tuesday to the Executive Council of the agency, called to deal precisely with the pandemic of the covid-19. During the meeting, governments took the floor to defend WHO reform and demand transparency, including Brazil.
The meeting also served for the agency’s review initiatives to explain how they are working to propose a profound change in WHO’s work.
For auditors, by maintaining only this discourse on isolation, the agency ignored complex realities of the poorest populations. The survey, however, indicated that WHO has adjusted its recommendations since then.
Analysis of WHO’s work has been going on since May
One of the most anticipated moments was the assessment of the agency’s internal audit, which, in May, prepared a survey on the first months of the pandemic and the global response. Although a portion of the results refer only to the period from January to April 2020, the auditors made it clear that there was also an error in the WHO assessment on how to present proposals to deal with the pandemic.
Studies, including those of the WHO, show that physical distance and isolation work to slow the progress of the pandemic.
The audit also found that the agency did not have the necessary resources to fulfill its mandate at the beginning of the crisis and that, in fact, it acted within its mandate. But the report also concluded that today’s laws and mechanisms are inadequate to respond to a pandemic.