To date, the global impact of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (also known as COVID-19) in terms of cases, totals more than 155,817,160 with over 3,255,162 deaths according to the World Health Organization (WHO). New cases of the virus are suggested to be over 880,000 daily, and this is concerning as there is a shortage of vaccines with not enough to immunise the world population.
According to Michael Weinstein, founder and president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest provider of HIV/AIDS treatment and care globally, there are many poorer countries who won’t have equal access to vaccines, and this will put the global population at risk.
In a recent press release, Weinstein said, “We are facing a catastrophic moral and public health failure akin to the initial and woefully inadequate global response to the AIDS pandemic in the 1980s and 90s by allowing COVID-19 to rip through the world’s poorest populations. We simply cannot make the same mistakes that were made fighting HIV – there must not be a delay in getting the lifesaving vaccines to all corners of the globe.”
Weinstein also noted that the Biden administration has taken steps to waive COVID-19 patents in the US. He is calling for other nations such as the UK and EU to follow suit as he feels that this will increase the sharing of vaccines globally.
The WHO report that wealthy nations have over 87 percent of the 700 million COVID-19 vaccines produced and that poorer countries have secured only 0.2 percent of these doses.
The solution, according to Weinstein and other advocates of COVID-19 global vaccination, is equal opportunity for all nations, not just those that are affluent. Part of the solution is to suspend intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines.
In response to the need for action COVID-19 vaccine advocates have joined together to create ‘VOW – Vaccinate Our World’ a call-to-action aiming to unite advocates and government leaders worldwide to bring an end to vaccine rationing, as the establishment of COVAX, a group that helps lower-income nations with vaccine quantities has not been able to secure enough vaccines to protect some countries. Now more needs to be done.
Legislators and decision-makers must ensure all countries have access to vaccines to ‘Vaccinate Our World’ and defeat the pandemic.
Want to join the fight to urge world leaders to Vaccinate the World? Then you can:
- Pledge as an individual or as an organization to fight for vaccine access across the world.
- Subscribe to the VOW e-mail list to stay up-to-date.
- Visit VaccinateOurWorld.org.
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