WHO Chief ‘happy’ to volunteer for Covid-19 vaccine on camera, hails former US presidents for same

A day after three former US Presidents volunteered to take a coronavirus vaccine on camera to help promote public confidence, the World Health Organization Chief Dr Tedros said that he too would love to do the same.

WHO director-general welcomed the news that US president-elect Joe Biden, and former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have said they will volunteer to get an approved vaccine on camera.

“It’s a good idea… I think it’s very good that they already have shown their commitment. They can influence,” he told reporters. “They are influencers,” he added.

Once the US Food and Drug Administration authorizes the vaccine, all three former Presidents are willing to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus on television.

Asked if he would do the likewise, Tedros said, “I would be happy to do the same thing. I would be happy to do it.”

He stressed though that he would not want to jump the line and receive a jab needed by someone else, underlining the WHO’s call for vaccines to be distributed equitably.

“I need to make sure it’s my turn. I don’t want to take anybody’s vaccine,” WHO Chief said.

These statement come at a time when Anthony Fauci, the US’s top infectious disease expert has said that getting enough American citizens vaccinated is crucial for gaining herd immunity against the coronavirus. 

He said that at least 75 per cent of all Americans would need to get vaccinated by fall 2021 if the country wants to return to any state of normalcy.

Britain on Wednesday became the first Western country to approve a vaccine, from Pfizer-BioNTech, for general use, piling pressure on other countries to follow suit swiftly.

But experts have voiced concern over growing signs of vaccine hesitancy, with misinformation and mistrust colouring people’s acceptance of scientific advances on the vaccines.

A WHO report published Friday highlighted that ‘harnessing social influences’, by profiling people who are ‘particularly trusted’ and willing to take a jab could help promote acceptance and uptake of Covid-19 vaccines.

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