Pope Francis has continuously been starting initiatives and donating medical equipment for the COVID-19 pandemic response. Recently, he donated ventilators and other medical equipment to San Raffaele Hospital in Madrid, which is the epicenter of the COVID-19 battle in Spain.
Now, the Pope is calling for cooperation and coordination of health experts and scientists all over the world in the search for a vaccine for COVID-19. “In fact, it is important to unite scientific capabilities in a transparent and impartial way to find vaccines and treatments,” he said in last Sunday’s address.
Pope Francis also said that if there is a vaccine discovered, it should be shared with and made available around the world.
He also reminded the world that COVID-19 patients must be guaranteed access to medical equipment, universal healthcare, and all other necessities for their full recovery from the deadly virus.
Aside from this, in Sunday’s livestreamed address from his library, the Pope also supported a proposal by the inter-religious group, Higher Committee on Human Fraternity. The proposal is to make May 14 a day of prayer and fasting to ask the Lord for help with the current coronavirus pandemic.
Search for a vaccine
With the number of COVID-19 cases rising every day around the world, experts are scrambling to find a cure. Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the initiative to speed up the search for a COVID-19 vaccine, and world leaders have given their pledges except for the United States.
US President Donald Trump says he doesn’t want to take part in such initiative as he thinks WHO was slow to respond to the pandemic. Now, the US is planning to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and have 100 million doses ready by the end of the current year.
However, experts say that a vaccine must be tested for another 12 to 18 months to ensure that it’s safe to use for humans. Pharmaceutical companies have also teamed up and pledged to develop a vaccine for the disease.