All people deserve the opportunity to receive a vaccine.
COVID-19 has shown no regard for borders, race, wealth or status. It has threatened every aspect of children's lives, changing how 7.8 billion people around the world live. COVID-19 is a global problem that demands a global solution.
The emergence of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines offers hope, but we can only end this pandemic through fair and equal access to vaccines for all. The news that the U.S. will start sharing its COVID-19 vaccine doses to other countries, including India, marks an important step from the Biden Administration to drive global vaccine equity and access.
What is vaccine equity?
Vaccine equity acknowledges that no nation, state, or individual’s life is more important or more deserving than another’s. In contrast, vaccine nationalism and protectionism harm the most vulnerable children and families around the world; they also harm the United States.
Save the Children is calling on governments around the world to fully fund a global vaccine program, for countries that have more vaccine than they need to share with others, and work together to ensure global vaccine supply meets global demand. Join us in supporting vaccine equity– because no one safe until everyone is safe.
Why is vaccine equity important?
If only a few countries can vaccinate their populations, the divide between rich and poor countries will worsen, to the detriment of children.
- 168,000 more children could die due to malnutrition
- 80,000 children are at risk of vaccine-preventable deaths
- 1.6 billion learners could be affected by school closures
- 2.5 million girls are at risk of child marriage over the next five years
- 20 years of poverty eradication is at risk
- Vaccine nationalism will cost the world $9.2 trillion
How can we ensure COVID-19 vaccine equity?
The COVAX Facility was established to help drive global vaccine equity and access. Funding is vital, but money alone will not deliver vaccines for all.
Save the Children is calling for a comprehensive global response with bold action and accountability from ALL stakeholders to turn the rhetoric of global solidarity into reality. We must ensure action on a number of fronts, including:
- Donors should commit sufficient resources to fund COVAX to support the rollout of vaccines in low-income countries, as well as vaccine delivery in humanitarian contexts.
- Donors should prioritize vaccine via the fair global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and not engage in vaccine nationalism that undermines this.
- Donors and manufacturers should back C-TAP, sharing COVID-19 health technology-related knowledge and data, in addition to prioritizing investment and collaboration with developing country manufacturers to unleash supply.
- Manufacturers should ensure full transparency around the distribution and development of COVID-19 vaccines, including clinical trial data, cost of R&D and prices.
Who is being left behind in the race to be protected from COVID-19?
Unfortunately the world is not reaping the benefits of the available COVID-19 vaccines equally.
Unacceptably, too many countries struggle to achieve vaccine equity and people are being left behind in the race to be protected from Coronavirus.
The majority of vaccine doses have been rolled out in a small number of countries; while many have yet to deliver a single dose.
Looking at future purchases paints an even bleaker picture, with just 19 high-income countries securing over half of the vaccine doses available. Some of these countries have pre-purchased enough vaccines to cover their population several times over, while others struggle to even vaccine their frontline health workers.
While the COVAX Facility has now started to distribute vaccines in low-income countries, this is far outpaced by the rollout of doses in high-income countries.
This scramble to buy up the limited supply of vaccines very clearly highlights a key issue: there are currently not enough vaccines available to meet global demand.
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