Thursday, 21 January 2021

Coronavirus: World leaders pledge billions for vaccine

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BRUSSELS: World leaders, organisations and banks on Monday pledged 7.4 billion euros for research to find a vaccine against the new coronavirus, but warned that it is just the start of an effort that must be sustained over time to beat the disease.

The funds, pledged at a video-conference summit hosted by the European Union, fell marginally short of the 7.5 billion euros being sought, but more money could arrive in coming days. Notably absent from the event was the United States, where more than 67,000 people have died, and Russia.

Despite the shortfall, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, the target being sought on Monday to help find a vaccine, new treatments and better tests for the disease would only ever amount to a “down-payment” on the tools that will be needed to fight the virus. “To reach everyone, everywhere, we likely need five times that amount,” Guterres said.

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