KAMPALA, Uganda– UGANET joins with the United Nations to call for a ‘people’s vaccine’ that ensures everyone, everywhere has safe and equal access to immunization against the COVID-19 pandemic. The unity to scale up efforts to develop, test, and scale up production of safe, effective, quality, affordable diagnostics, therapeutics, medicines and vaccines is needed now more than ever. The government, the private sector, international organizations and civil society should unite towards a people’s vaccine.
COVID19 is a global disease affecting all people around the world but with a disproportionate higher impact on the most vulnerable groups and individuals. The spirit of global solidarity must prevail and no one should be left behind, as the race to identify the most effective tools to combat this virus continues with steady pace.
“The vaccine should protect the well-off in cities, the poor in rural communities, the old in care homes and the young in refugee camps. This is a moral imperative that brings us all together in our shared humanity,” says Dorah Kiconco, UGANET’s Executive Director.
UGANET also joins the United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to call on international and national partners to continue prioritizing the delivery of vaccines as a key tool to avert excess mortality. This is because, due to COVID-19, routine childhood immunization services have been severely hit in at least 68 countries; measles campaigns have been suspended in 27 countries and polio campaigns have been put on hold in 38 countries. As a result, at least 80 million children under one year are at risk of contracting diseases like measles, diphtheria and polio.
The UN continues to call for governments and non-government actors to prioritize investments in communities and to ensure all people, without distinctions, are provided with the relevant knowledge, resources and tools to protect themselves from COVID19. This is because the hope to reduce the impact of this pandemic will primarily rest on the people’s knowledge and behavior, and in their ability to withstand the impact of COVID19, just until the people’s vaccine becomes available.