Bahrain has become the second country to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, after the U.K., where the first doses of the vaccine are set to be administered starting Tuesday. Meanwhile, Moscow began distributing its Sputnik V shot to clinics this weekend and said it is rolling out its nationwide voluntary vaccination program this week. And Indonesia has received its first shipment of a Chinese-manufactured coronavirus vaccine from Sinovac Biotech.
In India, the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine could be available for purchase by March, according to a major manufacturer, in the first indication that COVID-19 vaccines will become available in the private market in some places.
The World Health Organization’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said coronavirus vaccines must be treated as public goods.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: “We simply cannot accept a world in which the poor and marginalized are trampled by the rich and powerful in the stampede for vaccines. This is a global crisis, and the solutions must be shared equitably as global public goods, not as private commodities that widen inequalities.”
The WHO is also warning against complacency in other public health measures as vaccines start to roll out, emphasizing “vaccines do not equal zero COVID.”