WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

23-Nov-2020 00:03:50
"With the latest positive news from vaccine trials,” World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, “the light at the end of this long, dark tunnel is growing brighter.” WHO
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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 03:50
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 23 NOVEMBER 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – RECENT - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, exterior, WHO Headquarters

23 NOVEMBER 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"With the latest positive news from vaccine trials, the light at the end of this long, dark tunnel is growing brighter. There is now real hope that vaccines – in combination with other tried and tested public health measures – will help to end the pandemic. The significance of this scientific achievement cannot be overstated."
4. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"The urgency with which vaccines have been developed must be matched by the same urgency to distribute them fairly. Every government rightly wants to do everything it can to protect its people. But there is now a real risk that the poorest and most vulnerable people will be trampled in the stampede for vaccines."
6. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Only a fundamental change in funding and approach will realise the full promise of the ACT Accelerator. 4.3 billion US dollars is needed immediately to support the mass procurement and delivery of vaccines, tests and treatments. A further 23.8 billion US dollars will be needed next year. This isn’t charity, it’s the fastest and smartest way to end the pandemic and drive the global economic recovery."
8. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organization (WHO):
"And I think we need to wait to see the results, both of the efficacy and the safety. The AstraZeneca is also being currently trialed in many other countries and eventually we should have data in about 60,000 patients or so that will enable us to really have a much more informed decision."
10. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mariângela Simão, Assistant Director-General, Access to Medicines and Health Products, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Actually, we have had already several discussions with AstraZeneca follow the expression of interest that WHO issued for emergency use listing and pre-qualification of the vaccines. So, we are very hopeful, and we are about to receive more data that includes clinical data in the next week."
12. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"The science is straight forward: if there is significant community transmission in your country and you don't have the necessary public health architecture to track and trace and isolate and quarantine contacts, then further opening up will result in increased transmission. There's no question of that. the question is, have you got the disease under enough control to start with? And, can you, in a sense, allow people a little bit more freedom over the period of the Christmas period -- which generates a sense of confidence and a sense of joy in the community, which people need right -- without letting the virus rip again within our communities?"
14. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"We don't know whether it was a human that drove the amplification event at the Wuhan market. Or was it an animal? Or was it environmental contamination? We don't know that. But certainly, it's clear that there were cases that preceded that event at the Wuhan market. So, the real question is, the original species barrier, where did that occur?"
16. Close up, WHO emblem
STORYLINE
"With the latest positive news from vaccine trials,” World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, today (23 Nov) said, “the light at the end of this long, dark tunnel is growing brighter.”

Dr Tedros said, “there is now real hope that vaccines – in combination with other tried and tested public health measures – will help to end the pandemic.”

The WHO official said, “the urgency with which vaccines have been developed must be matched by the same urgency to distribute them fairly. Every government rightly wants to do everything it can to protect its people. But there is now a real risk that the poorest and most vulnerable people will be trampled in the stampede for vaccines."

Dr Tedros stressed that “only a fundamental change in funding and approach will realise the full promise of the ACT Accelerator.”

He said, “this isn’t charity, it’s the fastest and smartest way to end the pandemic and drive the global economic recovery."

In her briefing, WHO’s Chief Scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, said, "we need to wait to see the results, both of the efficacy and the safety.

Swaminathan said the AstraZeneca vaccine “is also being currently trialed in many other countries and eventually we should have data in about 60,000 patients or so that will enable us to really have a much more informed decision."

For her part, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Access to Medicines and Health Products, Dr Mariângela Simão, said, "we have had already several discussions with AstraZeneca follow the expression of interest that WHO issued for emergency use listing and pre-qualification of the vaccines."

WHO’s Executive Director for Health Emergencies Programme, Dr Mike Ryan, said, “the question is, have you got the disease under enough control to start with? And, can you, in a sense, allow people a little bit more freedom over the period of the Christmas period -- which generates a sense of confidence and a sense of joy in the community, which people need right -- without letting the virus rip again within our communities?"

On the investigation into the origins of the virus Ryan said, “we don't know whether it was a human that drove the amplification event at the Wuhan market. Or was it an animal? Or was it environmental contamination? We don't know that. But certainly, it's clear that there were cases that preceded that event at the Wuhan market. So, the real question is, the original species barrier, where did that occur?"
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