Start writing a post

The only way to get back to normal is to vaccinate the whole world

The Indian variant is just the latest threat, it won't be the last

The only way to get back to normal is to vaccinate the whole world

As concerns grow that the Indian variant of Covid-19 may plunge us into yet another lockdown, it is time to demand world leaders take seriously the need to vaccinate the whole world asap. Hopefully the vaccinations we have will work against this new variant, but what about the next one, and the potentially thousands of variants after that?

We are facing a catastrophic moral and public health failure akin to the initial and woefully inadequate global response to the AIDS pandemic in the 1980s and 90s by allowing COVID-19 to rip through the world's poorest populations. We simply cannot make the same mistakes that were made in fighting HIV – there must not be a delay in getting lifesaving vaccines to all corners of the globe.

The Biden administration recently took an unprecedented step in supporting a proposal before the World Trade Organisation to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic. If we are to have a real shot at ending the COVID-19 pandemic globally, we must urge our leaders, and pharmaceutical giants to follow suit. If not millions more will die and our dreams to get back to normal will unachievable.

Despite public commitment to equity the UK and EU are amongst the worst COVID 19 vaccine hoarders. The UK is the second largest hoarder in the world according to the latest data on vaccine procurement from Duke Global Health Innovation Centre, having purchased enough vaccine to cover more than four times its population. EU is in the top six having purchased enough vaccine to cover more than twice its population. But this short-sighted nationalism is putting the whole of humanity in danger.

And it's not just poorer countries waiting for vaccines, while writing this from the Netherlands, one of Europe's most prosperous countries, with advanced and efficient healthcare systems, I am tired of hearing endless promises by the government that one day I will be vaccinated. We do not want to hear explanations of why it is impossible to deliver on earlier promises. There is no valid explanation when people's lives are at stake. We want to see real actions from our governments, and we want to get our vaccines now. It is critical that the fundamental right to health protection, which is guaranteed to every EU citizen by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, is actually implemented.

The virus does not recognise or respect borders. The EU and UK are leading efforts to provide developing countries with vaccines via the COVAX initiative. However, the global need for vaccines cannot be satisfied with donations from wealthy countries alone. One important solution is to ensure production of vaccines where the need is greatest: in developing countries. Waiving the intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines held by pharmaceutical giants is key to meeting the growing vaccines demand.

World leaders must firmly agree now to support the temporary waiver of intellectual property rights to produce vaccines, if they are to be on the right side of history at this pivotal moment in time.

Vaccine production is a complex process, consequently all related know-how and technologies as well as the development of qualified cadres must accompany the patents waiver. This is the only way to meet global needs so that we can protect the world against COVID-19. We need close regional cooperation to make this work, and its critical for the UK and EU to lead this process.

Today, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest provider of HIV/AIDS care and treatment globally, is spearheading a worldwide initiative which calls on governments, vaccine manufacturers, and international public health institutions to 'VOW' to protect humanity and provide equal access to COVID-19 vaccines so we can "Vaccinate Our World" (VOW).

Several elements must come into play in order to achieve a balanced, coordinated response and to avoid another public health and social disaster. First, the global COVID-19 vaccination effort must secure $100bn from G20 countries. Second, it must produce and provide seven billion vaccine doses worldwide within one year. Third, companies and governments must waive or suspend all COVID-19 vaccine patents during the pandemic. Fourth, countries must be 100 percent transparent in sharing information and data. Fifth, world leaders must promote far greater international cooperation as the driving force for ending the pandemic, not continue with politics as usual.

Please visit https://vaccinateourworld.org/ to join the VOW campaign, follow its progress, and track achievements in equitable vaccine access.

Why the history of Juneteenth is important—and how it will be recognized by many this year

This year marks an exciting time in our history— Congress passed the Juneteenth Independence Day Act.

people standing on road during daytime
Photo by Leslie Cross on Unsplash
World Animal Protection has moved the world to protect animals for more than 50 years. World Animal Protection works to give animals a better life. The organization's activities include working with companies to ensure high standards of welfare for the animals in their care; working with governments and other stakeholders to prevent wild animals being cruelly traded, trapped or killed; and saving the lives of animals and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them in disaster situations. World Animal Protection influences decision-makers to put animal welfare on the global agenda and inspires people to change animals' lives for the better. More information on World Animal Protection can be found at: http://www.worldanimalprotection.us/
https://twitter.com/MoveTheWorldUS
https://www.facebook.com/WorldAnimalProtectionUS
https://www.linkedin.com/company/world-animal-protection-us/
https://www.instagram.com/worldanimalprotectionus/

Tova Randolph, World Animal Protection

In America, Independence Day is celebrated as a national holiday on July 4. The first Independence Day was officially organized in Philadelphia, PA on July 4, 1777.

Keep reading... Show less

Stop the Misogyny. Melinda Gates deserves every cent

Marriage is an equal partnership - but women's invisible labor is devalued, especially when it comes to divorce

Kiran Rai founded celebrity-endorsed fashion line Sir Alistair Rai. As co-founder of Consciously Unbiased and the CU Project, Rai works to help change the narrative in our culture and empower people.

Bill and Melinda Gates' separation will be the biggest divorce in history. It's shown us that no partnership is unbreakable. It's also reminded us that women such as Melinda Gates are often judged or stigmatized for receiving what they are entitled to - even when it comes to separating from a partner of decades, whose success is built on their support.

Keep reading... Show less
#StartTheConversation by joining us on
x

Join our new platform for free and your post can reach a huge audience on Indy100 and The Independent join