WORLD UN experts call on G7 to ensure developing countries get equal COVID-19 vaccine access

WORLD

UN experts call on G7 to ensure developing countries get equal COVID-19 vaccine access

Xinhua

06:40, June 10, 2021

GENEVA, June 9 (Xinhua) -- A group of UN human rights experts on Wednesday called on leaders of Group of Seven (G7) to make sure people in developing countries get equal access to COVID-19 vaccines and not to allow the profit motive to undermine global health and equity.

A health worker administers a dose of Sputnik V vaccine to a man at a hospital in Hyderabad, India on May 17, 2021. (Str/Xinhua)

"Everyone has a right to have access to a vaccine for COVID-19 that is safe, effective, timely and based on the application of the best scientific development," the experts said in a statement ahead of the G7 summit to be held in Britain on June 11-13.

"Now is the time for international solidarity and cooperation to provide effective assistance to all governments in their vaccination efforts and to save lives," they said. "It is not the time for protracted negotiations or for lobbying to erect barriers in order to protect corporate profits."

The experts stressed that the extraordinarily speedy production of safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 has not been followed by swift action to ensure equity of access across all countries and regions.

"Billions of people in the Global South are being left behind. They see vaccines as a mirage or a privilege for the developed world," the experts said. "This situation will unnecessarily prolong the crisis, drastically increase the death toll and deepen economic distress, possibly sowing the seeds of social unrest."

"The G7 leaders must make it their top priority to protect the rights to life and health of people in the most socially and economically precarious situations at a time when millions face poverty and hunger," said the experts, echoing their statement last year on the human costs of the pandemic.

"It is shocking that, according to WHO reports, less than one percent of all vaccines administered so far have gone to low-income countries," they said.

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