To develop and roll out Covid19 vaccine requires big budget, says Experts

Experts behind a global push to develop and roll out a vaccine and other treatment for the coronavirus say their ambitions require a big budget.

The World Health Organization and its allies made a pitch for their ACT-Accelerator that aims to get a COVID-19 vaccine and treatment tools to the neediest people around the world, no matter the cost.

They were speaking a day before a European Union conference to drum up support and funds for the initiative that the United States has shunned so far.

WHO and partners said that the project will need more than USD 31 billion through the end of 2021, for vaccines , therapeutics and diagnostics to fight the disease that has caused more than 10 million confirmed cases and has caused atleast 5,00,000 deaths globally.

“If we dont rally now, the human costs and the economic pain will deepen,” said Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, one of the WHO chief’s special envoys for the initiative.

“So though these numbers sound big, they’re not when we think of the alternatives.” She further said

“Just think of the trillions of dollars that have had to be spent in order to stimulate economies back,”she said. “If we spend billions now, we’ll be able to avoid spending trillions later.”

About a dozen different vaccines are in various stages of testing worldwide, including in Britain, China and the US. This week, Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, said he is cautiously optimistic there will be a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the year or early 2021.

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