Pope Calls for Scientific Cooperation in a Search of Coronavirus Vaccine

Pope Francis, in his Sunday speech on May 3, 2020, called for mutual cooperation among scientists, who have been conducting research across the globe, to find a vaccine for the treatment of the coronavirus patients. Pope put his concern that the world needed international scientific cooperation now more than ever to discover a vaccine for the coronavirus and said any successful vaccine should be made available around the world.

Pope’s Call for International Cooperation

On Sunday, besides calling for scientific cooperation, the Vatican religious leader also supported a proposal by an inter-religious group known as the Higher Committee on Human Fraternity for an international day of prayer and fasting on May 14 to ask God to help humanity overcome the pandemic. Francis, who delivered his Sunday address from the papal library instead of St. Peter’s Square because of the lockdown in Italy, expressed his gratitude to all those around the world who were providing essential services.

Francis also made a statement saying that it was also imperative for all leaders to “guarantee universal access to essential technologies that allow each infected person, in every part of the world, to receive the necessary medical treatment.” He added, “In fact, it is important to unite scientific capabilities, in a transparent and impartial way to find vaccines and treatments.”

In the last week of April, the United Nations (UN) agency, the World Health Organization (WHO) took initiative and called for world leaders’ cooperation to accelerate work on tests, drugs, and vaccines against COVID-19 and to share them around the globe. However, the US stayed away from the initiatives of the WHO and promised to work alone in finding a coronavirus vaccine.

Clinical Tests for Antiviral Drugs

A number of pharmaceutical companies around the world have conducted clinical trials in a bid to identify antibodies that could combat the virus. Meanwhile, some antiviral drugs were reported to have effective results in the treatment of the virus-affected patients; yet most experts have suggested that it could take a minimum of 12 to 18 months to guarantee a vaccine is safe and effective.

In the US, the Trump administration, which had recently stopped federal funding to the WHO on a premise that the UN agency was being “China-centric,” has approved some clinical tests of antiviral drugs on the virus-affected patients. According to a senior US administration official, the administration set plans to speed up the development of a coronavirus vaccine with the goal of having 100 million doses ready by the end of 2020.

Pope Francis declared his view for the need for international cooperation to find a successful vaccine since the virus has infected nearly 3.5 million people and claimed more than 240,000 lives worldwide.

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