Friday, January 22, 2021 | ePaper

Appeal of Nobel laureates for vaccine to be available to all

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NOBEL laureates including Prof Muhammad Yunus have issued an open call to the people of all strata to sign a pledge declaring the Covid-19 vaccine to be a common good. The Covid-19 vaccine, being a common good, would ensure that it is available to all globally and that those who cannot pay for it, will not be excluded. Those who sign this pledge will also agree that the results of vaccine research done by the private sector should be in the public domain, making it available to any production facility, as long as it operates under international regulatory supervision.
Happily, this pledge has already been signed by 105 world leaders, including 18 Nobel laureates, 32 former heads of state and government, political leaders, artists, international NGOs and institutions. Earlier in April, global leaders demanded that all vaccines, treatments, and tests be patent-free, mass-produced, distributed fairly and made available to all people, in all countries, free of charge. Billions of people today await a vaccine that is our best hope for ending this pandemic.
The search for Covid-19 vaccine is like the new space race as winning the Covid-19 vaccine race will also give the country an edge in global supremacy. The international race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine could put nations against each other if politicians bow to either political pressure to put their citizens at the front of the queue for a jab. The pandemic has constituted the most serious global public health emergency since the end of World War II. It is a global dream to see an effective vaccine at an early date, but a vaccine itself is not enough.
Efforts should be made to ensure that Covid-19 vaccines reach everyone in need when they become available. Therefore, any individual in any country, rich or poor, can get access, and no one would be deprived of the chance. And global solidarity is also needed to ensure the accessibility for every person, everywhere, when vaccines are ready. The call for the global common good is really for saving humanity in the earth.

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