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Nobel laureate calls for global vaccine consortium

Source: Xinhua Updated: 2020-11-03

SHANGHAI -- Countries around the world should be encouraged to collaborate and form a global vaccine consortium to work on parallel approaches and share the benefits of vaccines, according to Nobel laureate Venki Ramakrishnan.

In his video address to the ongoing 3rd World Laureates Forum that kicked off on Friday in Shanghai, Ramakrishnan said that the COVID-19 pandemic brought the requirement for international collaboration into sharp focus, as the virus has raged across continents.

"The collaboration has resulted in exceptional speed at which we have begun to understand the virus. The sequencing of its genome was a spectacular global effort, which had allowed us to better understand the virus, as well as its geographical spread and its epidemiology. Teams from around the world are working tirelessly on new treatments and potential vaccines," said Ramakrishnan.

Ramakrishnan also noticed that the pandemic caused worries about the fair distribution of vaccines, including how to allow impoverished countries to get access to the benefits of vaccines and how to ensure that countries are made resilient against future pandemics, which could be much more dangerous.

"Instead of competing on vaccine development, perhaps countries could be encouraged to collaborate and form an international vaccine consortium to work on parallel approaches and share the benefits," said Ramakrishnan.

According to him, global challenges require global solutions, and that global scientific collaboration is key in that context. There is a real need for all, scientists and non-scientists, to improve the processes and remove the barriers to collaboration.