WHO Issues ‘Urgent’ Call to Develop Vaccines for Antibiotic Resistance, As CDC Blames Problem on Pandemic

Suzanne Burdick

In a report issued July 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said U.S. deaths from antibiotic-resistant bacteria — commonly called “superbugs” — rose 15% in 2020.

The 44-page report examined the impact of COVID-19 on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in 2020, when — according to the CDC — drugs were widely dispensed to treat COVID-19 and address bacterial infections during hospitalizations.

On the same day — July 12 — the CDC published its report, the World Health Organization (WHO) also issued a report on AMR — which focused on developing vaccines to address the issue.

In a press release about the report, the director of the WHO’s Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals Department called for the agency “to leverage the lessons of COVID vaccine development and speed up our search for vaccines to address AMR.”

The WHO’s 94-page report identified 155 vaccine candidates — 61 in “various stages of clinical development” and 94 in “preclinical development” — the agency said should be “urgently” developed to combat AMR.

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