Tuesday, November 24, 2020 | ePaper

Nobel Laureate urges

Declare Covid-19 Vaccine as Global Common Good

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UNB, Dhaka :
Nobel Laureate Professor Dr Muhammad Yunus urged the global population to sign the pledge, 111 world eminent personalities made earlier, to declare the Covid-19 vaccine as 'Global Common Good'.
Anyone one can make his/her own pledge at www.vaccinecommongood.org, said a press release from the Yunus Centre.
Earlier, 111 world eminent personalities, 19 Nobel laureates, 32 former government heads, political leaders, civil society leaders, artists, international development agency chiefs and world moral leaders from all over the globe made the unique call.
 "We appeal to set up an international committee responsible for monitoring the vaccine research and assure equal access to the vaccine for all countries and all people within a publicly announced predetermined time frame," they said.
The eminent personalities urged all the global leaders, international organizations, and governments to adopt legal measures and make official statements declaring COVID-19 vaccines as a Global Common Good, free from any patent right belonging to anyone.
The only way to definitively eradicate the pandemic is to have a vaccine that can be administered to all the inhabitants of the planet, urban or rural, men or women, living in rich or poor countries, they said.
They also suggested the governments, foundations, international financial organizations like the World Bank and the regional development banks to work out details of how to make the vaccines available free of cost.
 "We appeal to governments, foundations, charity organizations, philanthropist individuals, and social businesses to come forward to produce and/or distribute the vaccines all over the world," they said in their statement.
They also invited all social, political, and health entities to re-affirm the collective responsibility for the protection of all vulnerable persons related to poverty, discrimination, gender, illness, loss of autonomy or functionality, or age.
The Covid-19 vaccine research is a long process and the estimated time for developing the vaccine is about 18 months or less, which would be an absolute speed record.
This research needs immense economic investments and private sector research laboratories who are engaged in the vaccine research will be expecting a return on their investments. The global prominent personalities said "We must work out an unambiguous procedure to determine what would be a fair level of this return in exchange for putting the vaccine in the public domain."
Information issued by the private sector, scientists, and authorities, needs to be timely, accurate, clear, complete, and transparent. The research results should be in the public domain, making it available to any production facility that pledges to operate under strict international regulatory supervision and only to such facilities, they said.
The WHO was urged to design a World Action Plan on COVID-19 vaccine. The global eminent personalities urged all world leaders, the UN Secretary-General, Director General of the WHO, religious leaders, social leaders, moral leaders, leaders of research laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, and media leaders to join hands to ensure all to have a global consensus for free universal access, far ahead of its actual production and distribution to COVID-19 vaccine.

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