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Pope says coronavirus vaccine needs to be shared around the world


On Sunday, Pope Francis called for international scientific cooperation to discover a coronavirus vaccine, and said that any successful vaccine should be made available worldwide.

Francis, who delivered his Sunday address from the Papal Library in place of St. Peter's Square because of Italy's lockdown, thanked all those around the world who provided essential services.

He encouraged international cooperation to tackle the crisis and fight the virus, which has infected nearly 3.5 million people worldwide and killed more than 240,000 people.

"In fact, finding vaccines and treatments is important to unite scientific capabilities, in a transparent and impartial manner," he said.

Francis also said it was important to 'guarantee universal access to essential technologies that enable every infected person in every part of the world to receive the necessary medical treatment.' World leaders pledged in April to speed up work on COVID-19 tests, drugs and vaccines and to share them around the world, but the United States did not participate in the launch of the Worl.

A.S. President Donald Trump said that the WHO reacted slowly to the outbreak and was "China-centric" and announced a suspension of funding as a result. The WHO has defended its crisis management.

A number of pharmaceutical companies around the world have developed tests to identify antibodies which develop after someone has come into contact with the virus.

According to a senior US administration official, the Trump administration is planning to accelerate the development of a coronavirus vaccine with the goal of having 100 million doses ready by the end of 2020.

Most experts have suggested clinical trials to ensure a vaccine is safe, and it could take at least 12 to 18 months to be effective.

On Sunday, the pope also backed a proposal for an international day of prayer and fasting on May 14 by an inter-religious group known as the Higher Committee on Human Fraternity to ask God to help humanity overcome the pandemic.