Today we have signed the WHO’s vaccine equity declaration.
The declaration calls on all countries to work together in solidarity – and in each of their best interests – to ensure that vaccination of health workers and older people will be underway in all countries within the first 100 days of the year.
Vaccines are now being distributed in over 70 countries across the world, with health workers rightly among the first groups to receive them. However, in the majority of low- and middle-income countries, vaccination hasn’t started.
We believe that the value of equity should be given the greatest weight in decision-making around vaccines in the COVID-19 pandemic, both nationally and globally. The best way to end this pandemic, stop future variants, and saves lives is to limit the spread of the virus by vaccinating quickly and equitably, starting with healthcare workers.
The call to action highlights many of the challenges that we flagged in our own briefing note on fair and equitable access to COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.
Around this time last year, I packed up my office laptop and cheerily bid farewell to colleagues, assuring them I’d see them “in a few weeks” once lockdown was over. Reader, it was not a few weeks. Over a year to the day, I have yet to return to any office and indeed, having joined the Nuffield Council a couple of months into lockdown, have yet to meet many of my new colleagues in the flesh.
30 Mar 2021
The prospect of safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 is good news for everyone towards the end of a grim year. Of course, caution is still advisable with as yet no certainty as to how long the vaccine might work or whether there might be adverse side effects for certain groups. There are also a host of ethical issues that need to be addressed.
24 Nov 2020