The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday declared that COVID-19 was no longer a global health emergency, and the virus that led to more than 6.9 million deaths, disrupted the global economy and ravaged communities, should be managed like other infectious diseases.

Following are the responses from a few companies and other stakeholders on the WHO decision to revoke the status that had been in place for more than three years:

 

SETH BERKLEY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF GAVI, THE VACCINE ALLIANCE:

“While today marks a historic milestone, we must also be clear about the need to continue to protect our most vulnerable people, as we do for other deadly but preventable diseases.”

 

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PHARMACEUTICAL MANUFACTURERS AND ASSOCIATION

“It is critical that we carefully reflect on what worked well and what did not, taking the lessons from this extraordinary, collective effort so that the world is better prepared against future pandemics.

“We need to preserve the strength of the innovation ecosystem, which fostered the development and scaling up of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics at record speed and record scale.”

 

NOVAVAX INC NVAX.O

“While the COVID landscape has shifted to an endemic market, we believe there will be an ongoing need for annual seasonal vaccination against COVID to provide protection against emerging variants.”

 

PFIZER INC PFE.N

“While the Public Health Emergency of International Concern will end, WHO emphasized that the virus is here to stay, and all countries will need to continue managing COVID-19 along with other infectious diseases impacting their population.”

“To sustain the gains made during the pandemic, governments must remain vigilant and maintain high levels of readiness for further COVID-19 outbreaks and the emergence of new virus variants.

“COVID-19 vaccination continues to be recommended globally, and several governments around the world have current vaccination campaigns for the Spring and are planning for Autumn campaigns.”

 

EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT URSULA VON DER LEYEN

“This pandemic has had a heavy toll on people, our society and our economy. But we have successfully overcome it thanks to determined action at global, EU and Member State level, and to the resilience and solidarity of our citizens.”

“As this crisis is now over, let us again wholeheartedly thank the many frontline public health professionals for their extraordinary efforts and dedication in the past three years. If it was not for them, we would not be where we are today.”

 

ZAEEM HAQ, GLOBAL MEDICAL DIRECTOR, SAVE THE CHILDREN

“Over the past three years, COVID-19 turned children’s lives upside down – denying them access to education, health and protection – widening global inequality and driving an estimated 100 million additional children into poverty, but while COVID-19 is no longer officially considered a ‘public health emergency of international concern’, the virus is here to stay.”

“Without urgent global action, years of progress for children will be permanently reversed.”

 

SALIM ABDOOL KARIM, FORMER ADVISER TO SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT ON COVID STRATEGY

“We have to recognise that the declaration is over, but the pandemic is not. We continue to live in the midst of this pandemic and it remains an ever present threat. And more importantly for me, is that this is a good opportunity to take the lessons of what we’ve learned form Covid and to use it for our preparedness activities for the next pandemic.”

 

MOHGA KAMAL-YANNI, POLICY CO-LEAD FOR PEOPLE’S VACCINE ALLIANCE

“Just as with HIV, the global response to COVID-19 failed the world’s most vulnerable, prioritising windfall profits ahead of public health. World leaders must now learn from the last three years, and make structural changes in global health. Or else, we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of this pandemic in the next.”