The IPU and the parliamentary community call on governments to give fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccination through support for COVAX, the only global mechanism to distribute vaccines equitably across the world.
The positive news of the roll-out of safe and efficacious COVID-19 vaccines offers hope to the millions who have been affected by waves of death, lockdowns and quarantines that have brought economies and societies to a standstill.
However, with vastly unequal distribution of the vaccines between developed countries and the global south, an end to the pandemic and a global recovery are only possible with coordinated international efforts. If there is no coordination, the disease will keep circulating.
COVAX, co-led by the World Health Organization, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, is an extraordinary example of global solidarity. The scheme aims to rapidly accelerate the production of COVID-19 vaccines and ensure their rapid and equitable distribution to all countries, regardless of their income status. With 190 participants representing nearly 90% of the global population, COVAX also encourages higher income countries to donate surplus stocks of vaccine to a global pool.
IPU President, Duarte Pacheco, said “Vaccine roll-out should not be an international competition with rich countries pushing their way to the front of the queue. The pandemic is global in nature requiring a global response to get all countries, including the poorest, back on their feet.”
IPU Secretary General, Martin Chungong, said “The COVID-19 pandemic impacts everyone, but especially the poor, and marginalized groups such as migrants, refugees and stateless people. Each parliament has a responsibility to ensure that all the people, including the most vulnerable, have access to a vaccine- it is a question of rights and safety for all.”