The Philippine government is leading the clarion call for the international community to band together in the spirit of solidarity and ensure that all nations obtain equal access to life-saving vaccines for the coronavirus diseaes 2019 (Covid-19).
Specifically, National Task Force Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez reminded the inclusion of the most vulnerable sectors in the implementation of Covid-19 response measures as a failure to do so could largely affect their post-pandemic efforts.
Speaking during the United Nations’ (UN) Economic and Social Council Special Ministerial Meeting dubbed “A Vaccine for All” on Friday, Galvez said the #OnlyTogether campaign can “end this pandemic especially now that we have begun to have the scientific capacity to do so.”
“The Philippines remains resolute in championing a policy of ensuring universal, fair, equitable, and timely access to Covid-19 vaccines as long-term solutions to building back better, amid the emergence of new variants and the global scarcity that has been challenging vaccine rollouts in some countries,” Galvez said in a news release.
The Philippines called on member-states to include women and migrant workers, especially those working in the frontlines of the pandemic response, and to include them in the national immunization strategies of all governments.
“Women and migrants are disproportionately exposed to the health risks posed by the pandemic, yet they play critical roles in weathering the crisis,” he added.
Galvez likewise urged nations “to address the urgent needs of low-and middle-income countries,” as well as increase funding support for multilateral initiatives such as COVAX to allow the facility to achieve its target of delivering 2 billion vaccine doses to all countries by the end of 2021.
He recalled the statement made by President Rodrigo Duterte last year during the 75th anniversary of the UN, wherein he cautioned that “if any country is excluded by reason of poverty or strategic unimportance, this gross injustice will haunt the world for a long time and will completely discredit the values upon which the United Nations was founded.”
“May no further injustice haunt us as we continue the global fight towards ending this pandemic,” Galvez added.He then appealed to the international community “to reinforce our greater global solidarities and uphold our collective commitment and to further intensify its cooperation to address Covid-19’s multidimensional challenges.” SOVEREIGNPH