PRRD: Inequity in Covid-19 jabs ravaging poor nations

Spread the love

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte declared on Wednesday that a “man-made drought” of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines is devastating impoverished countries as a result of alleged hoarding of the vaccines by the wealthy nations.

Duterte vented frustration in a keynote speech delivered during the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly that developing countries could not increase their Covid-19 vaccine supply because rich nations have the privilege of obtaining vaccine doses first.

“The picture is bleak. It is a man-made drought of vaccines ravaging the poor countries. Rich countries hoard life-saving vaccines, while poor nations wait for trickles,” Duterte said.

Duterte noted that, while rich countries have improved their vaccination effort by increasing the supply of booster shots, poor nations are still battling to obtain extra vaccines in order to adequately vaccinate their citizens.

Such “selfish” behavior, according to Duterte, must not be condoned.

“They (Rich countries) now talk of booster shots, while developing countries consider half doses just to get by. This is shocking beyond belief and must be condemned for what it is — a selfish act that can neither be justified rationally or morally,” he said.

To eradicate the coronavirus, Duterte expressed hope that powerful nations would instead assist the Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility, a global program that assures access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide.

He stated that worldwide collaboration would be crucial to the effective fight against Covid-19.

“The plain fact is this pandemic will not end, unless the virus is defeated everywhere. Vaccines are key to achieving this,” Duterte said. “We recognize that only inclusive multilateralism can deliver the global public goods we need. And we believe that fairness, equality and respect should always be the basis of our engagement with one another.”

Many developing countries, including the Philippines, have gained from the COVAX Facility.

According to Duterte, the Philippines has already pledged USD1 million to the COVAX Facility.

“This is our modest contribution to our collective fight against Covid-19. We strongly urge our privileged partners to fully support the COVAX Facility and further strengthen other cooperation mechanisms. We need this to save more lives, break the cycle of variants, and help ensure global economic recovery,” he said.

Based on the data issued by the National Task Force Against Covid-19 on Monday, the Philippines has received a total of 64.942 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

House committees to hold hearings during break

Spread the love

Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.