Across the world the number of people losing their lives to COVID-19 continues to rise, with many countries enduring cycles of lockdown, and knock-on effects of the pandemic increasing poverty on a global scale. COVID-19 doesn’t respect national boundaries. As long as it exists anywhere it is a threat everywhere.
COVID-19 vaccines are crucial to putting a stop to this. In a victory for all of humanity, scientists across the globe have worked round the clock to deliver safe, effective, virus-defeating vaccines in record time.
If we can get these vaccines out to the global population – starting with frontline health workers and the most at-risk priority populations – then we can put the world on a fast track to recovery – saving millions of lives.
But there’s a problem. Rich countries have bought up huge amounts of vaccines – more than their populations’ needs multiple times over – reducing access for the rest of the world. This hurts everyone.
If rich nations hoard vaccines and don’t cooperate to support global fair access, especially for lower-income countries, it will prolong the pandemic, cost nearly twice as many lives, and put us all at greater risk of new virus mutations that are resistant to vaccines.
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