In the past few days, there have been reports of new variants of the COVID-19 virus in South Africa and the UK. Viruses mutate over time; that’s natural and expected. WHO is working with scientists to understand how these genetic changes affect how the virus behaves.
In early 2021, 4.6 billion U.S. dollars in additional funding will be needed to purchase COVID-19 vaccines for at least 20% of the population of all low and lower-middle income countries.
The hundred-hundred initiative of WHO, UNICEF and the World Bank aims to support 100 countries to conduct rapid readiness assessments and develop country-specific plans within 100 days for vaccines and other COVID-19 tools. 89 countries have already completed the assessments and our teams are working around the clock to ensure that governments and health systems are ready for global vaccine rollout.
For 30 years, our colleagues at the United Nations Development Programme, or UNDP, have published the Human Development Report, an annual snapshot of the state of global development. The latest edition of the Human Development Report, published last week, takes an in-depth look at the COVID-19 pandemic and what it might mean for the future of development and humanity.