–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –From Mike SOGBOLO:
COUNTRIES on the globe have been asked to work against hoarding of COVID-19 vaccine and ensure that it is made available everywhere on the planet in order to put an end to the pandemic.
Arising from a meeting of the International Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Cooperation, which was launched by Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Serbia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan, a communique was issued aimed at ensuring that the restriction of vaccines to some countries is stopped.
The countries agreed that solidarity and cooperation are key to fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, a challenge confronting all countries in the world, and that there should a building of global community of health for all, which put people and their lives first and make concerted and coordinated efforts to address the challenge.
The eight point communique also read: “We recognize the importance of COVID-19 vaccination as a global public good, and call upon all parties to step up efforts to make vaccines more accessible and affordable in developing countries, including making utmost efforts to provide vaccines for developing countries, LDCs in particular.
“We call upon all countries, in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders, to increase national, regional and global capacities, carry out vaccine research and development as well as production in line with strict standards according to the World Health Organization (WHO) regulations, and provide safe, effective and high-quality COVID-19 vaccines.
“We support the WHO in promoting access to COVID-19 vaccines through the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and its COVAX Facility, encourage capable vaccine-producing countries to provide more vaccines to COVAX, and call upon multilateral financial institutions and other international organizations to provide inclusive financial support for vaccine procurement and for strengthening production capabilities in developing countries.
“We underline the importance of vaccine multilateralism and call upon countries to enhance international cooperation mechanisms and collaboration, reject vaccine nationalism, lift export restrictions on relevant vaccines and raw materials, support enhanced cooperation on vaccine research and development, production, equitable distribution and ensure cross-border flows of vaccines.”
The countries also said in the communique that: We call upon countries to encourage the ongoing consideration on possible waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organization, stressing the need for flexibility, pragmatism and a sense of urgency. We encourage countries to further strengthen international cooperation on vaccine production capacity by conducting joint research and development, authorized production and technology transfers, and continue to adopt concrete measures to raise the vaccine production capacity of developing countries.
“We emphasize the scientific nature and importance of World Health Organization Emergency Use List, and call on governments, while conducting study on easing national entry regulations for the vaccinated, to follow the principle of fairness, equity, science and non-discrimination, respect the suggestions proposed by the WHO based on this principle, and strengthen communication and coordination on vaccine certification and regulation policies.
“We hear the report by the representatives of the vaccine companies and welcome their cooperation outcomes achieved. We are determined to take further joint actions to engage companies and all stakeholders and support their participation in international cooperation efforts on increasing vaccine production and distribution, jointly promote fair, affordable, timely, universal and equitable distribution and strengthen local production of vaccines around the world, and welcome more partners to come aboard, including through transfer of technology.”
China President Xi Jinping in his message to the meeting has stated the commitment of his country to building a global community of health for all.
He said: “China is providing vaccines to the world, particularly fellow developing countries, and is actively advancing cooperation on vaccine production.
“This is in line with China’s commitment to making COVID-19 vaccines a global public good. China will continue to do its best to help other developing countries cope with the virus.”
He said: “In the course of this year, China will strive to provide 2 billion doses of vaccines to the world. China has decided to donate US$100 million to the COVAX Facility for distributing vaccines to developing countries. We stand ready to work with the international community to advance international vaccine cooperation and build a community with a shared future for mankind.”
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