byanyim7_Steve PfostNewsday RM via Getty Images_covidvaccine Steve Pfost/Newsday RM via Getty Images

How to Protect the World from the Next Pandemic

The pillars of effective pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response are well-known: relevant knowledge and technology must be shared openly, and vaccines, tests, and treatments must be produced widely. A global pandemic accord can ensure that these conditions are met next time – but only if it has teeth.

NEW YORK – “History teaches us that the next pandemic is a matter of when, not if,” warned World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus earlier this year. He is right. That is why it is vital that the world’s governments successfully conclude their work of negotiating an accord on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. Negotiators were not able to meet the latest deadline for an agreement. They need more time, but they must also be mindful that time is running out.