29 November 2021
UNICEF Australia urgently calls for greater vaccine access for low and middle income countries.
Following the announcement that a new COVID-19 Variant of Concern (VoC) called Omicron has been detected in several countries, UNICEF Australia is urgently calling on rich countries with significant vaccine supplies to step up co-operation to help low and middle countries with fragile health systems.
“The only pathway out of this pandemic is vaccine equity for people in every part of the world,” says Mr Stuart.
“You can’t end a global pandemic one country at a time. International co-operation must be escalated. Countries with surplus supplies need to speed up support for other global regions.
“The more opportunities the virus has to spread anywhere in the world, the more chances it has to mutate, allowing new variants to emerge. In the worst-case scenario, new variants could prove more transmissible or deadly.
“We must ensure every country has equal access to the tools to fight COVID, slow down transmission and curb its spread – tests, treatments, infection control equipment and of course, life-saving vaccines.
“Richer countries with plenty of vaccine supplies have enough to be able to vaccinate their populations at home and donate doses for other countries. They can and must do both.”
As the leading delivery partner of COVAX, globally UNICEF is working to deliver three billion vaccines, COVID testing kits and treatments to low-income countries. For more information or to support visit www.vaccinaid.org.au