The United Nations (UN) – The UN leader has criticized “numerous examples of vaccine nationalism – vaccine stockpiling” as well as side deals with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers that undermine access to people around the world.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) had declared COVID-19 an epidemic a year later, noting that “the global vaccination campaign is the greatest moral test of our time.”
“Ensuring that all people are vaccinated, that ‘very low-income countries have not yet received a single dose,’ can help the world relaunch from a closed society to a virus,” he said.
Guterres reiterated his call for COVID-19 vaccines to be considered a “global public good”.
“The world needs to unite to produce and distribute enough vaccines for everyone, which means at least doubling production capacity around the world,” he said. “Those efforts must begin now.”
The Secretary-General paid tribute to the health workers and other important workers who have been put to work by the public.
“I salute all those who stood up for the deniers, the ‘misinformation’, followed the science and security protocols,” he said. “You helped save lives.”
Guterres praised “women, men, and young people everywhere for their work, their education, their new ways of living.”
“So many lives have been lost,” he said. “Economies have stalled, societies have come out of shock. The most vulnerable suffered the most. The rest are even further behind. ”
An estimated 117 million people have been infected with the coronavirus, and according to Sons Hopkins, more than 2.6 million people have died.
Guterres said the UN would continue to push for affordable vaccines to help improve the economy.