By EDD K. USMAN
(SDN) — FREE COVID-19 VACCINE FOR ALL?
Yes, that’s exactly the call of more than 140 leaders to provide any developed and working vaccine against the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) to administered at no cost to everybody worldwide.
And to achieve it, all governments across the world must unite behind a call for a free Covid-19 vaccine for all people everywhere.
That’s the gist of an Open Letter that over “140 world leaders, former leaders, experts and economists” have signed to make the call.
This is gleaned from an article that CGTN published on May 16, Saturday. CGTN is a Chinese media organization.
It named some of the signatories as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Pakistani President Imran Khan. The signatories said in the Open Letter that any vaccine should not be patented and the science behind its development shared between nations.
The world leaders “demanded all vaccines. treatments and tests be patent-free, mass produced, distributed fairly and made available to all people, in all countries, free of charge.”
They addressed their call for help to the World Health Assembly (WHA) and to rally behind the cause for a free vaccine for all. WHA is the policy-setting body of the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO).
The world leaders cited the importance of unity behind the call.
“Governments and international partners must unite around a global guarantee which ensures that, when a safe and effective vaccine is developed, it is produced rapidly at scale and made available for all people, in all countries, free of charge,” they said in the Open Letter.
“The same applies for all treatments, diagnostics, and technologies for Covid-19.”
Other signatories are Senegalese President Macky Sall and Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo.
Still other signatories are former presidents and prime ministers Shaukat Aziz, Jan Peter Balkenende, Jose Manuel Barroso, Gordon Brown, Helen Clark, Felipe Gonzalez, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Aleksander Kwasniewski, Mary Macleese, Olusegun Obasanjo, and Juan Manuel Santos.
Ramaphosa, the chairperson of the African Union, emphasized African countries’ stand on the issue.
“As the countries of Africa, we are resolute that the Covid-19 vaccine must be patent-free, rapidly made and distributed, and free for all.
“Nobody should be pushed to the back of the vaccine queue because of where they live pr what they earn.”
Elsewhere around the world big and small pharmaceutical companies, scientists, and researchers are racing to develop a vaccine against the virus causing Covid-19.
Some have shown promise in tests conducted on animals like monkeys. But experts say a vaccine is still some months away, or a year. (SDN)
Featured images from CGTN/UNAIDS.
Source of article — CGTN with Agence France Presse.