We Must Be Demanding Global Vaccine Cooperation
Updated: Mar 14, 2021
All aspects of global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic are contingent on the development of a vaccine. Here, the global aspect of the response is more important than ever: as we live in a globalised world where the movement of people is inevitable, the pandemic isn’t under control anywhere until it is under control everywhere. Countries that have been heralded as success stories are already experiencing this as they struggle with second and third waves. Hong Kong – which has been praised for its response to the pandemic – has just broken its three week streak of no local cases, recording 34 local cases just on Thursday.
It is obvious that cooperation on vaccine development and implementation gives us the best chances of mitigating the devastating impact that covid has had on our lives. Unfortunately, the needed level of cooperation is not happening. The need for cooperation has been covered extensively. I recommend two articles in particular: CEO of Gavi Seth Berkley’s opinion piece: In the COVID-19 vaccine race, nobody wins unless everyone wins, and Colum Lynch’s report for foreignpolicy.com. These both explain the real action that is being taken to coordinate a global response to the pandemic – that is, the WHO’s Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-Accelerator).
As individuals, it is frustrating to see governments disregard the most effective method we have to fight the pandemic. Still, there are actions we can take to urge governments to take a multilateral approach to vaccine development. Here are a few actions we can start with:
– Sign Global Citizen’s petition urging global leaders to work together to fight the coronavirus pandemic
– So far only Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the European Commission have committed to the ACT-Accelerator. If your country is not on the list, take local action and demand it to commit to the ACT-Accelerator.
– Continue to discuss the need for global cooperation and action. Remember, change always begins with voices. The more people who demand a global response, the greater attention the issue will get.
Multilateralism must be an integral part of our new global normal. Let’s make it happen now.