UN General Assembly holds debate to boost momentum for universal COVID-19 vaccination

UN General Assembly holds debate to boost momentum for universal COVID-19 vaccination

UN General Assembly holds debate to boost momentum for universal COVID-19 vaccination

NEW YORK, 26th February, 2022 – The President of the UN General Assembly appealed on Friday for greater global solidarity to vaccinate the entire world against COVID-19.

Addressing a high-level debate on universal vaccination, Abdulla Shahid highlighted the persistent inequity in access to these lifesaving medicines and the failure of the international
community to protect everyone against the disease.

“Let me be clear: vaccine inequity is immoral, and it is impractical,” he said, speaking from the iconic UN General Assembly Hall in New York.

As of Friday, there were more than 428.

5 million cases of COVID-19 globally, and 5.

9 million deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).


Shahid said that although more than 10 billion vaccines have been administered around the world so far – enough to inoculate every person on the planet – some 83 percent of the
population of the African Union (AU) has yet to receive a single dose.

“It is not okay that 27 countries have vaccinated less than 10 percent of their populations while others are rolling out boosters or lifting restrictions entirely,” he said.


Shahid convened the day-long debate to galvanize momentum towards ensuring everyone can receive vaccines, bringing together world leaders, senior UN officials, civil society and
non-profit representatives, private sector stakeholders, front-line first responders and even celebrities.

“If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is the importance of collective action – that our strength lies in solidarity,” he said.

In a video message to the meeting, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called vaccine inequity “a moral indictment of our times”, as it costs lives, damages economies, and allows the virus to circulate and mutate.

For the UN chief, galvanizing momentum means that countries step up vaccine dose-sharing, as well as donations, to the COVAX solidarity mechanism.

“It means manufacturers prioritizing and fulfilling vaccine contracts with COVAX, ensuring full transparency on monthly production and creating the conditions for the local or regional production of tests, vaccines and treatments,” he added.

At the same time, pharmaceutical companies must share licenses, know-how and technology to support vaccine production across regions.

Funding from donors and international financial institutions also needs to be ramped up, as does the fight against the “plague” of vaccine misinformation.

“We have seen hopeful progress when supply is secured and predictable, when doses are donated with ample shelf-life and when there is a deep understanding of what a country needs to accelerate vaccinations,” said Mr.


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