United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for $35 billion more, including $15 billion in the next three months, for the World Health Organization's (WHO) "ACT Accelerator" programme to back vaccines, treatments and diagnostics against COVID-19.
Financial support has, so far, lagged goals, as nations or governments including the European Union, Britain, Japan and the United States reach bilateral deals for vaccines, prompting Guterres and WHO General Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to plead to nations to contribute.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged backing, having in August already promised 400 million euros ($474 million) to the COVAX vaccine portion of the programme.
Tedros renewed calls for scaling up COVID-19 clinical trials. AstraZeneca this week suspended late-stage trials on its potential vaccine after an illness in a participant in Britain. Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said on Thursday if safety reviewers allow a restart, the company should still know by year's end if its vaccine works.