The Red Cross and the UN urged countries Wednesday, June 3 to avoid trying to secure future immunisation jabs against the coronavirus for their populations only, calling for a true “people’s vaccine”, AFP reports.
The groups spoke out as scientists race to identify and test possible vaccines for Covid-19, which has killed more than 380,000 people and infected close to 6.5 million globally.
They are also scrambling to find a safe and effective treatment.
“We need to fight what is now called vaccine nationalism,” Emanuel Capobianco, head of health at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), told AFP.
Unless there was a clear international commitment to global solidarity on this issue, individual countries might end up scrambling to secure their own populations’ vaccine needs.
But while the world waited for that vaccine, countries would do well to invest in getting production and distribution up to scale — for everyone, everywhere, he advised.
“Now is the moment to prioritise that,” said Capobianco.
“We need to make sure that this spirit of global solidarity and this principle of vaccines as a public good is put at the very centre of the political agenda on Covid-19.”