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The World Health Organization is holding a briefing Friday on the coronavirus pandemic as countries across the globe prepare distribution networks for a forthcoming vaccine.
Developing and approving a Covid-19 vaccine is only the first step toward suppressing the pandemic. It's like arriving at base camp on Mount Everest, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's health emergencies program, said during a livestreamed Q&A session from the agency's Geneva headquarters on Wednesday.
"We still have to climb the mountain," he said. "It's a great achievement, but we still have to get there."
The U.K., which was the first country to approve Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday for widespread use, is gearing up to distribute the doses as early as next week. However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson cautioned that administering the vaccine posed "immense logistical challenges."
The coronavirus has infected more than 65.3 million people across the globe and has killed at least 1.5 million people, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
— CNBC's Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.