Fix ‘grotesque’ vaccine inequity, campaigners tell world leaders

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World leaders meeting at Wednesday’s COVID-19 summit have urged “urgent and bold” action to combat the “bizarre disparity” that has pushed life-saving vaccine doses to the world’s poorest people and countries. Access has been blocked.

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In a letter sent to members of the UN General Assembly, more than 50 global health groups and experts have called for a “sea change” in the global pandemic response, warning that a failure to increase supplies to unconnected countries will result in millions of deaths. And the loss of trillions of dollars from people and the world economy.

Oxfam, Amnesty International, ActionAid International, MSF and Global Justice Now have all signed the letter, urging heads of state attending the Vaccine Summit convened with this week’s General Assembly session to “correct the mistakes” . In rolling out Covid jobs throughout 2021.


The letter warned that only 2% of people living in the world’s poorest countries have been vaccinated, with 10,000 dying from the infection every day.

“The skewed disparity in access to COVID-19 technologies is denying people in developing countries life-saving vaccines and is responsible for unnecessary loss of life,” it reads, adding that such disparity would prolong the pandemic and lead to new vaccines. -resistant variants are emerging.

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“Having vaccinated most of their people, rich countries are also buying millions more doses for boosters, while failing to reallocate additional doses to address vaccine disparity,” the campaigners write.

The letter sets out five demands for summit leaders: commit to a global plan of 70 percent immunization by the middle of 2022; Share vaccine technology and drug companies need to do the same; Waiving intellectual property rights; invest public funds to increase vaccine R&D and manufacturing capacity in low-income countries; And reallocate the dose of the vaccine “immediately”.

“We urge you to immediately take the above mentioned action in the larger responsibility of saving millions of lives from this pandemic to ensure that all people in all countries get the COVID-19 vaccines,” the letter said.

At the virtual COVID-19 summit that US President Joe Biden is hosting on Wednesday, leaders are also expected to address world-wide oxygen shortages and tackle other important pandemic-related issues.

It comes on the back of a controversial decision by US and UK health officials to introduce booster doses for elderly and vulnerable groups, at a time when millions of people around the world have yet to be offered a single jab.

The World Health Organization has urged Western countries to put a halt to booster programs by the end of the year so that each country can vaccinate at least 40 percent of its population.

The Biden administration has pushed back the criticism, arguing that the US has enough doses to vaccinate Americans, while sharing more vaccines globally than any other nation.

The US has so far distributed 140 million vaccine doses to about 100 countries. Overall, the US intends to distribute 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the coming months, with President Biden reportedly proposing during Wednesday’s meeting that the government aims to vaccinate 70 percent of the world’s population within the next year. is to help.

Meanwhile Britain has pledged to donate 100 million surplus coronavirus vaccine doses to the world.

However, in their letter to world leaders, campaigners and public health experts warn that “of insufficient doses promised for reallocation by the G7 and the European Union, only 15 percent have been delivered. Some have been delivered.” In many cases, the redistributed dose reaches too close to its expiration date to save lives.”

Mohga Kamal Yani, a senior policy adviser at the People’s Vaccine Alliance, said “vaccine apartheid is a moral stain on the world’s response” and stressed that the Covid peak “should be a turning point”. He said: “We have no more time or lives to waste.”


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