On July 15th, world leaders (including Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, South Korean President Moon Jae-In, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, Swedish PM Stefan Lofven, and Tunisian PM Elyes Fakhfakh) penned an op-ed calling for equal global access to a COVID-19 vaccine, warning against the rise in vaccine nationalism.
While global cooperation in terms of resources, expertise and experiences is paramount for developing a vaccine, manufacturing and distributing it while leaving no one behind will truly put global cooperation to the test. But if we are successful, we can beat the virus and pave the way for recovery from the pandemic.
Therefore, we must urgently ensure that vaccines will be distributed according to a set of transparent, equitable and scientifically sound principles. Where you live should not determine whether you live, and global solidarity is central to saving lives and protecting the economy. A managed flow of the vaccine —including for humanitarian settings and other vulnerable countries such as the least developed countries and small island developing states — is the wise and strategic course of action and will benefit countries across the world.