Fighting Infections: Future Risks
Vaccines are helping to curb the spread of disease
We often heard this classic phrase – I said it around a year ago, that vaccines are weapons for after the battle. That’s how it always was. <...> Today, the situation is totally different. Today vaccines are developed in tandem [with the pandemic, Ed.] and are used as weapons during the battle. This is a different approach, an innovative approach, — Mikhail Murashko, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.
COVID-19 mortality rates remain high throughout the world. The more the virus circulates, the more it seems that new variants appear, making vaccines less effective and putting us back to where we were, — Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Chief Executive Officer, World Health Organization.
Diseases which are prevalent throughout the world could be defeated through collective action
It’s crucial that the world doesn’t split into political factions and fight each other. Instead, we must work together to tackle the pandemic, — Robert Steffen, Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention of Infectious Diseases, University of Zurich.
Difficulties in bringing medicines to market
The biggest expenditure comes with confirming its [a drug’s, Ed.] quality and safety. There’s the financial outlay, and <...> ethical norms to consider. The more specific drugs appear, the more challenges are posed to the expert community, — Mikhail Murashko, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.
The development of a safe and effective vaccine has shown that there is light at end of the tunnel, but inequality has undermined this achievement. Out of 1.8 billion doses, only a small proportion has gone to poorer nations, — Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Chief Executive Officer, World Health Organization.
Politicization of vaccines
Unfortunately, vaccines are indeed politicized. <...> We absolutely believe that transparency and openness are crucial. There have been assessments by the EMA and the WHO, and there were no particularly critical remarks. However, there are indeed some bureaucratic, technical processes to go through, which may take another two months or so. <...> The main thing is that we are absolutely convinced that we have one of the safest and most effective vaccines there are, as demonstrated by all the countries [which have registered Sputnik V, Ed.], — Kirill Dmitriev, Chief Executive Officer, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
Why is everyone talking about herd immunity? It’s another key element. We must respond in concert and in one go, and not wait for the virus to start looking for weak links and adapting to the immunity of the country’s people, — Mikhail Murashko, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.
I call upon all nations to support global vaccination efforts. We should have at least vaccinated 10% of each country’s population by September, and at least 30% by the end of the year, — Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Chief Executive Officer, World Health Organization.
We need to fight the disinformation campaign which is undermining the health of our people and persuading them not to get vaccinated, which is a big mistake, — Kirill Dmitriev, Chief Executive Officer, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
As a preventative measure, I would want us to get better at distinguishing correct information from disinformation, and at trusting sources which should be trusted, — Anna Popova, Head of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing - Chief State Sanitary Physician of the Russian Federation.