WHO / EXECUTIVE BOARD TEDROS

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18-Jan-2021 00:05:05
WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that almost one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has "an unprecedented opportunity to make health the heartbeat of development, and the foundation of a more secure, and more equitable world." WHO

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STORY: WHO / EXECUTIVE BOARD TEDROS
TRT: 5:05
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 18 JANUARY 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1.Various shots, conference room
2.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"One year into the greatest crisis of our time, there is no question that we still face unprecedented danger. But we also have an unprecedented opportunity to make health the heartbeat of development, and the foundation of a more secure, and more equitable world."
3.Wide shot, conference room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"The development and approval of safe and effective vaccines less than a year after the emergence of a new virus is a stunning scientific achievement, and a much-needed source of hope. Vaccines are the shot in the arm we all need - literally and figuratively. The recent emergence of rapidly-spreading variants makes the rapid and equitable rollout of vaccines all the more important."
5.Wide shot, conference room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"It’s right that all governments want to prioritize vaccinating their own health workers and older people first. But it’s not right that younger, healthier adults in rich countries are vaccinated before health workers and older people in poorer countries. There will be enough vaccine for everyone. But right now, we must work together as one global family to prioritize those most at risk of severe disease and death, in all countries."
7. Wide shot, conference room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"COVAX is ready to deliver what it was created for. But in recent weeks I have heard from several Member States who have questioned whether COVAX will get the vaccines it needs, and whether high-income countries will keep the promises they have made. As the first vaccines begin to be deployed, the promise of equitable access is at serious risk."
9. Wide shot, conference room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"I need to be blunt: the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure – and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries. Even as they speak the language of equitable access, some countries and companies continue to prioritize bilateral deals, going around COVAX, driving up prices and attempting to jump to the front of the queue."
11. Wide shot, conference room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"The situation is compounded by the fact that most manufacturers have prioritized regulatory approval in rich countries where the profits are highest, rather than submitting full dossiers to WHO. This could delay COVAX deliveries and create exactly the scenario COVAX was designed to avoid, with hoarding, a chaotic market, an uncoordinated response, and continued social and economic disruption. Not only does this me-first approach leave the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people at risk, it’s also self-defeating. Ultimately, these actions will only prolong the pandemic, prolong our pain, the restrictions needed to contain it, and human and economic suffering."
13.Wide shot, conference room

STORYLINE:

WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that almost one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has "an unprecedented opportunity to make health the heartbeat of development, and the foundation of a more secure, and more equitable world."

Speaking at the 148th session of the Executive Board in Geneva today (18 Jan), Dr Tedros said, "the development and approval of safe and effective vaccines less than a year after the emergence of a new virus is a stunning scientific achievement, and a much-needed source of hope.”

He continued, “vaccines are the shot in the arm we all need - literally and figuratively. The recent emergence of rapidly-spreading variants makes the rapid and equitable rollout of vaccines all the more important."

Dr Tedros also said, "it’s right that all governments want to prioritize vaccinating their own health workers and older people first. But it’s not right that younger, healthier adults in rich countries are vaccinated before health workers and older people in poorer countries.”
The Director-General continued, “there will be enough vaccine for everyone. But right now, we must work together as one global family to prioritize those most at risk of severe disease and death, in all countries."

He also said,"COVAX is ready to deliver what it was created for. But in recent weeks I have heard from several Member States who have questioned whether COVAX will get the vaccines it needs, and whether high-income countries will keep the promises they have made,” adding that “as the first vaccines begin to be deployed, the promise of equitable access is at serious risk."

Dr Tedros also bluntly said, “the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure – and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries, adding that “even as they speak the language of equitable access, some countries and companies continue to prioritize bilateral deals, going around COVAX, driving up prices and attempting to jump to the front of the queue."

The WHO chief also said, "the situation is compounded by the fact that most manufacturers have prioritized regulatory approval in rich countries where the profits are highest, rather than submitting full dossiers to WHO.”

He explained, “this could delay COVAX deliveries and create exactly the scenario COVAX was designed to avoid, with hoarding, a chaotic market, an uncoordinated response, and continued social and economic disruption.”

Dr Tedros continued, “not only does this me-first approach leave the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people at risk, it’s also self-defeating. Ultimately, these actions will only prolong the pandemic, prolong our pain, the restrictions needed to contain it, and human and economic suffering."

The Executive Board is composed of 34 technically qualified members elected for three-year terms. The annual Board meeting is held in January when the members agree upon the agenda for the World Health Assembly and the resolutions to be considered by the Health Assembly.
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