File photo: President Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo is advocating the need for COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostic and treatments to be made free and accessible to everyone when developed and approved.

The President made the call in a tweet to announce that he has joined more than 140 world leaders and experts to sign the UNAIDS Public Letter on the People’s Vaccine for COVID-19.

The letter was co-signed by global leaders over the weekend ahead of the WHO Health Assembly today (May 18, 2020).

According to the public letter, governments and international partners must unite around a global guarantee which ensures that when a safe and effective vaccine is developed, it is produced rapidly at scale and made available to all people, in all countries, free of charge.

The same applies to all treatments and other technologies for COVID-19.

The global leaders advocated a global agreement on COVID-19, vaccines, diagnostic and treatments implemented under the WHO that ensures mandatory world wide sharing of all COVI-19 related knowledge, data and technologies with a pool of COVID-19 license freely available to all countries.

The agreement, they said, should establish a global and equitable rapid manufacturing and distribution plan – that is fully-funded by rich nations – for the vaccine and all COVID-19 products and technologies that guarantees transparent ‘at true cost-prices’ and supplies according to need.

President Akufo-Addo said vaccines are meant to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies to fight diseases and it takes at least one year and at most 20 years to develop a vaccine.

He pointed out that currently, more than 70 COVID-19 vaccine candidates are at varying stages of development with a few of them at an advanced stage of clinical trial.

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