New WTO boss warns against vaccine nationalism

The newly-appointed head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has told the BBC that vaccine protectionism must be overcome to solve the pandemic.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said “a phenomenon where rich countries are vaccinating their populations and poor countries have to wait” must be avoided.

In recent weeks, several countries have tried to prevent the export of vaccines made within their borders.

But Dr Okonjo-Iweala said protectionism would hinder a global recovery.

“The nature of the pandemic and the mutation of many variants makes this such that no one country can feel safe until every country has taken precautions to vaccinate its population,” she said.


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