A nurse shows a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, March 5, 2021. (Photo by Joy Nabukewa/Xinhua)
The WHO chief also said that more than 335 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally so far, and no deaths have been found to have been caused by them.
"But at least 2.6 million people have been killed by the virus. And more will continue to die the longer it takes to distribute vaccines as rapidly and as equitably as possible," he said.
As countries roll out COVID-19 vaccines, the WHO is continuing to keep a close eye on their safety, Tedros added.
Also on Friday, WHO gave emergency use listing to Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, making it the fourth vaccine to receive WHO's approval. Emergency use listing is the green light for a vaccine to be procured and rolled out by COVAX, he said, referencing the global WHO-led initiative to ensure vaccine equity.
As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in an increasing number of countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.
Meanwhile, 263 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 81 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain, and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on March 12.