World Immunization Week - Global Vaccine Equity?
As a local resident, grandmother and advocate for human rights, World Immunization Week (April 24-30) is very important to me.
For this World Immunization week, my wish is that Canada and other rich countries move beyond the rhetoric of "we're all in this together", to real action to end global vaccine inequity. A few facts about the state of immunization against COVID-19:
2.8 billion people, largely in low- and middle-income countries, remain completely unvaccinated against COVID-19
The World Health Organization estimates that 100 million people have been pushed into extreme poverty by the pandemic
Years of progress in global health and poverty reduction has been wiped out.
Variants continue to emerge.
Yet Canada is still withholding its support for the TRIPS Waiver (a proposal to temporarily waive intellectual property rights that would allow manufacturing of vaccines in low- and middle-income countries), even though more than 100 governments at the World Trade Organization support the Waiver.
Although we have clearly promised to share 200 million vaccine doses with COVAX (the global vaccine-sharing facility), we have only delivered 15 million. Meantime, we are allowing vaccines to go to waste or to expire. Low-income countries need a stable and predictable supply in order to roll out vaccines to their populations.
Why not take a minute this week to write to our Prime Minister (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask that he fully commit Canada to helping vaccinate the world!