Kate Elder, Senior Vaccines Policy Advisor for MSF's Access Campaign, said of today's announcement:
“This is an important day for the many countries that still haven’t received a single dose and are relying on COVAX to supply them with lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines, but it’s a very small, late start, when what we need right now is a massive injection of doses to many more countries.
From the start of the pandemic, the brazen dash of wealthy governments to gobble up scarce global supply has left other countries in the lurch, shining a light on the inequities in our current system that put the entire world at risk.
We call on governments that have signed deals directly with pharmaceutical corporations for COVID-19 vaccines to share their doses so that people at highest risk for COVID-19 in developing countries can be vaccinated before people at low risk in wealthy countries. Governments must push pharmaceutical corporations to immediately work with COVAX to provide sufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccines at affordable prices so that people in priority groups in developing countries can be protected in this pandemic—this may mean postponing deliveries to wealthy countries while the world works to catch up on protecting the most at-risk people living in developing countries.
The stark inequity that the world is experiencing around COVID-19 vaccines is a byproduct of our broken biomedical system. If we want to avoid this deplorable situation in the future, we need a massive change in the way medical products are developed and made accessible around the world.”