As scientists work around the clock to develop a coronavirus vaccine, the UNAIDs executive director Winnie Byanyima has rallied for a people’s vaccine.
In a tweet video message, Byanyima says it is important to fight inequality if the battle against the deadly covid19 pandemic is to be a success.
“As we have seen with HIV and as we now see with COVID-19, epidemics affect everyone but they do not affect everyone equally. To fight covid19 we have to fight inequality because pandemics feed on and widen inequalities,” said Byanyima.
According to Byanyima, when a safe and effective vaccine is developed, it should be produced rapidly at scale and made available for all people, in all countries, free of charge.
The same she says should apply to all treatments, diagnostics, and other technologies for COVID-19.
Byanyima expresses fear that once the vaccine is developed, it might be expensive and as such poor countries might be left out.
“We have learnt from the African Union that their efforts to pull resources to buy test kits and protective gear at market prices are frustrated by rich countries buying huge amounts to stock up for themselves.
There is fear that if a vaccine is developed it might not be available for the poor countries, this is unacceptable, all lives matter,” added Byanyima.
It is from this that she is calling upon all governments and international partners to unite for a people’s free vaccine that protects all humanity irrespective of skin color, money in their pocket or countries.