Save the Children welcomes high-level political engagement to ensure equitable access to all Covid-19 tools and help bring an end to the pandemic.
The crisis we are all facing calls for a dramatic shift in ambition and urgency if the US, UK and other G7 countries want to demonstrate the global leadership they aspire to. We are seeing one pandemic but two realities, with 80% of vaccines having gone to high and upper-middle income countries – some of which are now considering 3rd doses – while many lower-income countries have yet to vaccinate even their most vulnerable citizens.
We need to achieve 70% global vaccine coverage by mid-2022 and not delay any further. This goal is possible, but it requires a step change in the conduct of rich countries that have hoarded vaccines and denied measures to improve supply in lower-income countries.
The short-sightedness of these few rich countries is failing the most vulnerable, and deep questions must be asked of those with the ability to save millions of lives that still choose not to. Yet this is not just a moral issue, but one of practical policy.
We know that no one is safe until everyone is safe – this is not a slogan but an epidemiological reality. We cannot leave the rest of the world to suffer, or we will reap what we sow when new, deadlier and more viral variants arrive on our shores. While we delay the global economy and international trade will continue to suffer (to the tune of $28 trillion over 5 years, according to IMF estimates), and decades of effort on economic development and health will be wiped out.