Egypt's health minister calls for WHO to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to low-income countries
Ahram Online, , Monday 12 Oct 2020
Zayed also urged the WHO to provide the vaccines at affordable prices to middle-income countries

Egypt's Health Minister Hala Zayed has called on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to provide free coronavirus vaccines to low-income countries, especially to the societies that are most vulnerable to the deadly disease.

Addressing the 67th session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean, Zayed also urged the WHO to provide the vaccines at affordable prices for middle-income countries.

The two-day virtual session, headed by the Egyptian minister, who was elected unanimously to head the session, is attended by high-level representatives from 22 countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region and aims to discuss health issues.

The minister urged all countries to participate in clinical trials for vaccines against the coronavirus and other diseases.

She stressed the importance of supplying crisis-stricken countries with the necessary drugs and medical supplies to confront the pandemic, saying, "This crisis cannot be handled individually or just by material resources."

The minister highlighted the significance of reopening the economy in parallel with combating the virus.

Zayed also thanked the medical teams who sacrificed their lives to serve their countries during the pandemic.

A plethora of candidate coronavirus vaccines have been registered recently by the WHO, with only a few reaching phase 4 of clinical trials, the final stage after which vaccines can be prescribed.