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Health

WHO calls for end to 'vaccine nationalism'

FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference organized by Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) - Countries putting their own interests ahead of others in trying to ensure supplies of a possible coronavirus vaccine are making the pandemic worse, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday.

“(Acting) strategically and globally is actually in each country’s national interest - no one is safe until everyone is safe,” he told a virtual briefing calling for an end to “vaccine nationalism”.

He said he had sent a letter to all WHO members asking them to join the multilateral COVAX vaccine effort.

More than 21.9 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 772,647 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Michael Shields and John Miller; writing by Nick Macfie; editing by Jason Neely

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