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CARICOM concerned about inequitable access to COVID-19 vaccines

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, January 13, 2020 - As the world grapples with the challenge of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) says it is deeply concerned at the current prospect of inequitable access to vaccines to address the pandemic, especially for frontline workers and vulnerable populations.

In a statement today, the CARICOM Secretariat said "the reality is that small states will find it difficult to compete in the market place to ensure equitable access for vaccines."

The statement pointed out that "given the transmissibility of the virus, all countries are vulnerable and should work together."

"The Caribbean Community therefore calls for a global summit in the context of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ACT-A Facilitation Council to discuss equitable access and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines," the statement said.

"The inextricable link economically, socially, and by virtue of travel with our neighbours and the wider international community, makes it imperative for CARICOM Member States to be afforded access to vaccines as a matter of urgent priority. This action will be mutually beneficial in breaking the transmission of the virus.

"Notwithstanding that appeal, the Community will explore all available options to access vaccines in order to protect its population from the ravages of the pandemic, the CARICOM statement concluded.

As at January 9, 2021, there are 43 vaccines that are being developed right across the world that are in phase-one trials. Twenty are in phase two and another 20 are in phase-three trials. Seven vaccines are in early or limited use in countries and three are fully approved for use.

The three that are approved are Pfizer-BinTech, with development in the United States and Germany; Moderna, with development in the United States; and Oxford-Astrazeneca, with development in the United Kingdom and Sweden.

 

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  • Countries: CARICOM
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