The World Health Organization (WHO) has criticised the EU's announcement of export controls on vaccines produced within the bloc and called for a slowdown in immunization in order to help other countries. The relevant statement was made by WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris in an interview with the BBC.
The EU introduced the measure amid a row with vaccine manufacturers over delivery shortfalls.
Under the EU's new rule, vaccine firms will have to seek permission before supplying doses beyond the EU. Its 27 member states will be able to vet those export applications.
But on Saturday WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said vaccines should be given to all vulnerable groups and health workers across the globe before each country starts giving the jabs out more widely.
This would mean wealthy nations, such as the UK, halting immunisations at home once priority groups had been vaccinated and instead helping with vaccinations elsewhere.
"We're asking all countries in those circumstances to do that - hang on, wait for those other groups. Rather than rushing to vaccinate one country, we need to be doing the lot and we need to be doing it together," she said.
Meanwhile, the risk of further spread of coronavirus infection across the world will remain even after vaccination. This was stated by Michael Ryan, Executive Director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme.
After being asked whether Covid-19 would become endemic, Ryan stressed that vaccination coverage would not be able to stop the transmission in the foreseeable future.
The official noted that the world probably should not count on getting rid of the virus in 2021.