Inequality and poverty are at the center of getting a People’s Vaccine, key in saving lives against the COVID-19 pandemic.
When one considers how far the world has come with narrowing the distances from one end to the other, one might be tempted to think the same can be translated in a shared responsibility to save humanity from the life-threatening COVID-19 pandemic we are facing right now. However, it seems those with money and business clout in COVID-19 vaccination think differently.
Despite having the human capacity to develop the COVID-19 vaccine, a development which was long-waited for to protect humanity from further loss, we are now occupied with convincing some of those who have the key to a solution to not commercialize vaccines.
We head for disaster if the world fails to share the responsibility for providing COVID-19 vaccination to the poor countries of the world. The projections show a grim picture, nine out of ten people living in the poorest countries are poised to miss out on a vaccine this year. Unjustifiably high prices block access and threaten to push more countries into ever-deeper debt crisis.
As Humana People to People, we strongly concur with UNAIDS Executive Director and UN Under Secretary Winnie Byanyama, in advocating for a People’s Vaccine and putting profit out of the way of saving lives. Her remarks were made at the Chatham House in discussion with the UK Secretary of State for Health. The discussions were made at a time when the World Trade Organisation was on-going in Davos and COVID-19 was on the agenda; however patents rights came in the way of an emergency response.
Read the Op-Ed of Winnie Byanyama published in The Guardian here: