The damage caused by COVID-19 – exacerbated by the continued appearance of new variants, most recently Omicron – has been catastrophic. More than five million lives worldwide have already been lost to COVID-19, and with confirmed cases on track to swell from 260 million today to 460 million by next autumn, the World Health Organization estimates that five million more people may die from the disease in the coming months. While 95% of adults in low-income countries remain unprotected, by the end of 2021, 100 million vaccine doses in the G20 stockpile will pass their expiration date and be wasted. This is perhaps the greatest public policy failure of our times. So, when the World Health Assembly (WHA) gathers for a special session starting on November 29, its task is nothing less than preventing the recurrence of such a tragedy. By Gordon Brown.