COVID-19 vaccines – shared asset of international community: Deputy PM

Thursday, 2021-02-18 09:53:47
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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – COVID-19 vaccines should be considered a shared asset of the international community, and delivered to countries at affordable prices, prioritising vulnerable groups and frontline workers in combatting the pandemic, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said on February 17.

The official made the statement during an open debate of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in contexts affected by conflict and insecurity, which was held virtually.

He called on the international community to effectively implement a strategy on pandemic response and vaccination, saying the COVAX mechanism needs greater support from countries so that vaccines can be allotted to developing countries and people in conflict-hit areas.

Ensuring an environment of peace and stability, and protecting essential infrastructure are key factors to vaccine universalisation, he continued.

He proposed the UNSC step up the implementation of Resolution 2532, especially the call for a global ceasefire, considering this a prerequisite for the UN and relevant sides to directly deliver vaccines for humanitarian purposes.

The international community needs to deal with the root cause of conflicts, uncertainties and inequalities, while engaging in global multi-lateral efforts led by the UN in order to build a strong and self-reliant medical system, and boost development cooperation along with global trade and economy post COVID-19, he stressed.

The official said the enhanced solidarity and multi-lateral cooperation, both regionally and globally, would help to effectively cope with the epidemic.

As an active member of ASEAN and the UN, Vietnam will make more contributions to joint efforts in the pandemic fight, he pledged.

Delegates at the debate shared the view that the safe and effective universalisation of COVID-19 vaccines plays an important role in containing the pandemic’s spread, and minimising economy, health and education losses.

Resolution 2532, adopted on July 1, 2020, supports a global ceasefire and calls for an immediate ‘humanitarian pause for at least 90 consecutive days’ to allow humanitarian assistance to be delivered.

COVAX is one of three pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which was launched in April by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission and France in response to this pandemic.

It is the only truly global solution to this pandemic because it is the only effort to ensure that people in all corners of the world will get access to COVID-19 vaccines once they are available, regardless of their wealth.