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Laboratory technician Irene Ooko attends to a patient seeking a test for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, at the Pathologists Lancet Kenya laboratory in Nairobi, Kenya on April 5, 2020.
Brian Inganga/AP
AdvocacyHealth

How You Can Take Action Now to Help Ensure COVID-19 Treatments for Everyone


Why Global Citizens Should Care
We’re only as strong as our weakest health system. While many countries have had success at slowing the spread of COVID-19 through lockdowns, treatments and vaccines are still needed as part of the effort to put a stop to the outbreak – but they need to be available to everyone. Our Global Goal: Unite for Our Future campaign works to support organizations leading the global efforts to tackle COVID-19, and mitigate its impact on the world’s most vulnerable people. Join the movement by taking action here to support the campaign. 

All eyes have been on scientists since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as they mount an unprecedented global collaborative effort to develop treatments and vaccines to stop the outbreak.

While countries closed their borders, scientists have worked across them — sharing data and early results, working towards a collective goal in a global effort that has reportedly never been seen before. 

This collective effort means that the international drive to find tests, therapeutics — which are essentially treatments to help people recover from COVID-19 — and vaccines that can inoculate people against it, is incredibly complex and requires a lot of funding. Hundreds of organizations, both private and public, are involved.

But while this extraordinary, collaborative work is going on globally to find a cure for COVID-19, it’s not necessarily guaranteed that successful tests, treatments, or vaccines will be accessible to everyone. 

There is a real risk of treatments as they become available being marketed at a high price, prioritizing access to people and countries that can afford it. 

Some of the biggest economies in the world are competing to develop an effective vaccine — with more than 220 vaccines in development around the world. But 49% of these are in North America, according to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI). 

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Inequalities like this mean it’s vital for the world to take steps now to ensure that treatments, as they are developed, are shared — because people need protection all over the world, not just in regions where a treatment or vaccine has been produced. 

International cooperation is essential to tackle COVID-19 — which is why Global Citizen and the European Commission have launched a new campaign,Global Goal: Unite for Our Future

We’re calling on world leaders to join together to fund the development and discovery of COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines — and ensure that everyone in the world has access to them, as well as working to mitigate the impact of the outbreak on the world’s poorest people.

What you can do to help right now 

Whether you’re in South Africa or South Korea, Latin America or Europe, or anywhere else in the world, you can join us by taking action to raise your voice and urge world leaders to help fund the fight against COVID-19. 

It might mean writing to your representative in government, or your country’s leader — as well as leaders across the world — and calling on them to prioritize the world’s health. 

The Global Goal: Unite for Our Future campaign is working to support several organizations that are leading the global efforts to tackle COVID-19, whether through developing tests, vaccines, and treatments, or through ensuring that the most vulnerable are able to access health care. 

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These organizations, among others, include the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI), which is driving vaccine development; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which will be central to COVID-19 vaccine delivery, while also ensuring that no child misses out on routine vaccinations either; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, powered by the UN Foundation; FIND, which is dedicated to transforming dianostics and testing; and global health initiative UNITAID. 

Each action you take to support the campaign will help ensure that these organizations are able to continue their life-saving work. You can join the movement and start taking action here to drive forward the fight against COVID-19, and ensure no one is left behind.