In June 2020, months after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement jointly called on governments, the private sector, as well as international and civil society to accelerate development efforts did. Test and produce a safe and affordable “universal vaccine” to protect everyone and end the crisis, everywhere.
A vaccine for all should protect rich and poor, elderly and young, forcibly displaced, migrants, regardless of their migration status, and more widely neglected populations, both in urban areas and within rural communities.
Fifteen months later, thanks to extraordinary scientific and technological advances, global cooperation and mutual trust in regulatory aspects, several safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines are available and administered in countries around the world. However, despite great speeches on global solidarity, the objective of having a “universal vaccine” is far from being achieved. Equitable vaccine distribution is a political, ethical and economic priority that has been largely overlooked until now.
Short-term gains and vaccine nationalism continue to drive solidarity when it comes to equitable vaccine distribution. Although more than 48% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, this percentage has dropped to about 3% in low-income countries. The situation is particularly worrisome in countries hit by the humanitarian crisis, which need an estimated 700 million additional doses to meet the World Health Organization’s goal of immunizing 40% of their population by the end of the year.
Of the countries that have made humanitarian appeals, more than half do not have enough doses to vaccinate even 10% of their population. The seven poorest countries in the world cannot even vaccinate 2% of their population (Burundi, Cameroon, Haiti, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Chad and Yemen).
Rich countries that have large quantities of vaccines have pledged to donate their extra doses to low- and middle-income countries through the COVAX scheme. However, very few of these vows have been honored. The availability of doses for the most vulnerable is limited by export restrictions and countries’ reluctance to allow the COVAX device to leave its place in the production chain, even if they cannot access these doses immediately.
The “humanitarian ticket” of the COVAX apparatus is open for applications from June 2021. The latter should be a solution of last resort to guarantee access to vaccines for displaced people as well as other vulnerable populations in the world. It is also part of efforts to reduce inequalities that would otherwise undermine social and economic recovery in areas hit by humanitarian crises. It is therefore imperative to increase supply, share vaccines and ensure access to all.
But the availability of vaccine doses is only part of the solution to this crisis. We need to ensure that vaccines flow from airport tarmac into the arms of the most vulnerable, including refugees, migrants, asylum seekers, stateless people and people living in areas controlled by armed or affected groups. through armed struggle. More investment in local delivery mechanisms and capabilities is necessary, not only to ensure rapid and equitable distribution of vaccines, but also to strengthen national health systems for preparedness and health. A more effective response to the pandemic.
Across the world, efforts to curb the pandemic are being undermined by reluctance-driven mistrust of vaccines. It is more important than ever to work with and within communities, including leveraging social media and community networks, to build trust and build trust in the effectiveness and safety of organizations’ vaccines. Activities to strengthen support for local actors and combat disinformation are essential to ensure successful vaccine delivery to local communities, especially those most vulnerable.
The United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are steadfast in their commitment to ensuring equitable and effective access to Covid-19 vaccines around the world. As the pandemic demands extraordinary action from the international community, we are joining our voices today once again to say that it is time to speak louder than words.
It is a human imperative and we have a shared responsibility to ensure that life is safe everywhere, not just in the few countries that can pay for security. We call on governments, partners, donors, the private sector and other stakeholders to:
- Increasing the supply of COVID-19 vaccines and improving access to the COVAX mechanism, including through donations from high-income countries, by distributing vaccines to countries and regions that are still not adequately served.
- Increased funding and support for local actors to ensure vaccines leave capital city airports and reach everyone, including investing in local health systems needed for both distribution and community engagement to fight against Covid-19 To create acceptance and trust in vaccines as well as vaccines. Mango;
- Strengthening the production and distribution capacity of Covid-19 vaccines around the world, especially in low- and middle-income countries;
- accelerating the transfer of technology and information: investments made today will last far beyond this public health emergency and strengthen global capabilities to respond to future pandemics and pandemics;
- Call for the removal of all remaining barriers (by manufacturers) to allow humanitarian agencies to access doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, including waiving the compensation requirement, especially when populations reach only the most vulnerable. Can be accessed by agencies that use “humanitarian”. Buffer of the COVAX mechanism”.
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