Covid-19: Omicron variant should urge world leaders to share vaccines – Community News
Covid-19

Covid-19: Omicron variant should urge world leaders to share vaccines

To mark the one-year anniversary of the first Covid-19 vaccine delivered worldwide, Amnesty International’s health adviser, Tamaryn Nelson, said:

“The recent emergence of the Omicron variant is a stark reminder of what will happen if we don’t tackle the pandemic at a global level.

“Experts have warned us that the pandemic is global in nature and that an unequal distribution of vaccines around the world would only increase the likelihood of new variants emerging. But while some high-income countries have fully vaccinated nearly 90% of their populations, just over 7% of people in low-income countries have received a single dose.

“Leaders in wealthy countries have urged their populations to get vaccinated, while repeatedly recognizing the importance of vaccines in ending the Covid-19 pandemic – especially in the wake of the Omicron variant. However, those same leaders seem to forget that the same message applies to everyone around the world.

“It is shocking that rich countries, whose populations have all received vaccines, continue to hoard hundreds of millions of unused doses, while pharmaceutical companies still send the bulk of their production to those same countries.

“If we are to turn the tide of new variants and end the pandemic, states that have built vaccines must immediately re-distribute them while ensuring that countries have sufficient time and resources to carry out a comprehensive rollout. . Likewise, pharmaceutical companies need to realize that they produce life-saving products that should go where they are needed most, not where they are paid top money.

Background

Since September 22, 2021, Amnesty International has called on states and pharmaceutical companies to ensure equal access to Covid-19 vaccines so that at least 40% of people in low- and lower-middle-income countries can be vaccinated with its campaign by the end of 2021, The 100 Day Countdown: 2 Billion Vaccines Now!. With less than 25 days to go until the end of the year, now is the time to act.