COVID-19 and equitable distribution of vaccine in future

As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic by scaling up testing and following up contact tracing and very importantly wearing face masks, as well as washing hands frequently under running water, so is the race for a vaccine.

There is a global search for a vaccine because there is no known cure for the disease that has plagued the world and wreaking havoc everywhere.
In Africa, for instance, there has been about 1.4 million cases, and 34,000 deaths since March. These figures are far lower than those in Europe, Asia or the Americas, although reported cases continue to decline.

The stark truth is that the disease has defied and confounded scientists, all of whom are racing to develop a vaccine that can save lives affected by the virus

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are currently over 169 COVID-19 vaccine candidates under development, with 26 of these in the human trial phase.

The WHO has confirmed that it is working in collaboration with scientists, business, and global health organisations through the ACT Accelerator to speed up the pandemic response.

It says when a safe and effective vaccine is found, it would, together with its partners, facilitate its equitable access and distribution to protect people in all countries, and people most at risk will be prioritised.

Although the WHO has made these categorical statements, it does appear that some countries are entertaining the fear that in the event of a discovery of a vaccine, it would not be equitably distributed.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo echoed this sentiment on Wednesday, when he delivered a virtual address from Accra to the ongoing United Nations General Assembly meeting and called on world leaders to work together to ensure that no one would be left behind in the quest for a permanent solution to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

The President spoke the minds of many who fear that rich and powerful countries may not be willing to share a vaccine with poor and vulnerable countries in the immediate aftermath of a discovery of a potent vaccine.

The Ghanaian Times fully agrees with the notion of a community with a shared future for mankind and maintains that only when countries around the world stand together as one, help each other and jointly battle the pandemic, can the human race achieve the final victory in the fight against the virus.

It is for this raison d’être that we share in the President’s reasoning that should there be a vaccine for the pandemic in future, it should be made available to all without any considerations.

We also accept as true that if the answer to this pandemic lies in finding a vaccine, that vaccine should be made available to the whole world, rich and poor alike, developed and developing, all races and all beliefs.

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