UNITED NATIONS - United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called the coronavirus pandemic the world’s top security threat, and called for greater cooperation in controlling outbreaks and developing an affordable vaccine. “The outbreak remains out of control”, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared in his press conference on Wednesday, ahead of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) High Level Week, noting that soon one million lives will be “lost to the virus”. Recognizing that many pin their hopes on a vaccine, he said, “let’s be clear: there is no panacea in a pandemic.”

“A vaccine alone cannot solve this crisis, certainly not in the near term”, UN chief stressed. “We need to massively expand new and existing tools that can respond to new cases and provide vital treatment to suppress transmission and save lives, especially over the next 12 months.” He emphasised that because the virus “respects no borders”, a vaccine must be seen as “a global public good”, affordable and available to all, but it requires “a quantum leap in funding.” 

Moreover, people must be willing to be vaccinated, but a proliferation of misinformation on vaccines is fueling vaccine-hesitancy, and igniting wild conspiracy theories, Guterres noted.