The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called on global leaders, businesses and partners to address hindrances in Covid19 vaccine acquisition, manufacturing, and distribution.
Henrietta Fore, UNICEF executive director, stated that the world’s current vaccine supply does not meet the demand, and that it is concentrated “in the hands of too few” as some countries have put in orders for enough doses to inoculate their entire populations several times over.
Fore further said that in order to fully defeat Covid19 it must be defeated worldwide by “ensuring a steady flow of vaccines and supplies to all”.
UNICEF thus established three pivotal actions that governments and the private sectors must undertake.
First of the three is Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) simplification via voluntary licensing.
Providing technology partnerships along with IP licenses, and proactively sharing information with manufacturers without unnecessary restrictions, would speed up production.
According to Fore, this requires cooperation, rather than IPR waivers.
Second, governments must end vaccine nationalism by removing direct and indirect export and import policies that hinder the exportation of vaccines as well as ingredients and relevant supplies
The last action is that countries with a sufficient supply of vaccines must loan or donate excess doses and release contracted doses, to the Covid19 Vaccines Global Access facility (COVAX).
Those countries with enough doses to vaccinate their adult populace should also consider donating 5% of their available, manufactured vaccines and providing year-long contributions that scale up over time.
By establishing dose-sharing commitments, the global vaccine market will stabilize faster.
Equitable access to Covid19 vaccines is within our grasp, according to Fore. She further mentioned that the sooner these actions are carried out, the sooner everyone’s lives may return to normal.
Meanwhile, Senator Francis Pangilinan has made an appeal to the World Health Organization (WHO) to be placed at the top of the COVAX beneficiaries list.
He cited the continuing surge of infections in the country and how the vaccines would help prevent the collapse of the healthcare system.
As of April 13, the country’s total recorded case count stands at 884,783 with 165,534 active.