LWF staff taking refugee’s temperature at the reception centre Kakuma refugee camp. Vaccine justice demands that everyone have access to the COVID-19 vaccine regardless of their location or affluence.
“We believe that the global community can and must do more to save lives, improve the well-being of all human beings, promote peace and ensure the realization of all human rights,” reads a statement from ACT Alliance on vaccine justice.
Over the months of May and June, and with the help of the global Vaccine Working Group, ACT Alliance successfully hosted six regional consultations on vaccine equity, namely an Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin American and the Caribbean and North American consultation, including a European consultation/round-up. As a result of that, we have been able to learn from members working on vaccine equity at the different levels and regions. The main messages arising out of this conversation are enshrined in the ACT Alliance Vaccine Equity Brief
Similarly, and as a follow up to the discussions that took place in May and June, ACT Alliance developed a statement that shows our support for WHO’s efforts around a treaty on pandemic preparedness and response. This statement was produced with the endorsement and input of the global Vaccine Working Group and is linked to the work being done by the Africa Advocacy Working Committee. ACT members and coordinators, at all levels, are interested to mobilize stakeholders and enhance political will around a legally binding treaty that is widely supported by institutions, that is enforceable, and ultimately, that saves lives.
Some of the key aspects of ACT’s statement include the recognition that vaccines are public goods, and must be treated as such. “There is a need for political will to deal with vaccines as public goods that are at the benefit of all not of a chosen few,” the statement reads.
Further, ACT calls on governments and multilateral institutions to, among other things, ensure that everyone has access to COVID-19 vaccines, leaving no one behind. “Share vaccine doses and financial resources to ensure everyone everywhere has immediate access to vaccines, and guarantee affordable prices, fair allocation and prioritization while also committing at least 5% of overall supply to equitable vaccine distribution and investing in public health systems and social protection systems that tackle the social determinants of health.”
ACT also urges the 194 members of the WHO to “immediately adopt the decision to create a new international treaty on pandemics at its special session to be held in November 2021, in order to hold governments accountable to their decisions and actions around pandemics.”
Read the full statement by ACT Alliance here.