LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the world’s largest provider of HIV/AIDS care globally, fully supports a recent call in an editorial by The Lancet journal for the appointment of a high-level leader or a group with a moral and authoritative voice to act as a liaison between countries in ensuring equitable and fair access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world.
While COVAX had ambitious plans to ensure developing countries would get equitable access to coronavirus vaccines, so far countries representing just 16% of the world’s population have cornered 70% of the available doses for the five leading vaccines in 2021. AHF recently voiced its concerns on delays many countries were forced to endure due to COVAX’s slow rollout and condemned wealthy countries for hoarding enough vaccines to inoculate their populations multiple times over.
“We must ensure the entire world is vaccinated to defeat this pandemic, and that cannot happen until all countries have the requisite quantities of vaccines. If one nation has COVID-19 with no access to vaccines, we all are in danger,” said AHF Africa Bureau Chief Dr. Penninah Iutung. “Whether it’s a former head of state or a panel of thought leaders, we are in desperate need of a unifying voice, one with the political savviness and technical expertise to foster solidarity between governments, international public health bodies, the private sector and civil society. Time’s ticking—people need vaccines right now!”
As of March 8, high- and middle-income countries had secured 6.7 billion total vaccines primarily through direct, advanced deals with pharmaceutical companies, whereas COVAX and low-income countries have only secured 1.8 billion doses. Without a unifying voice and a divergence from the current “me first” attitude of the wealthy nations, there will continue to be deep inequities for global vaccine allocation.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.5 million clients in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare.
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