Universal Vaccination

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The COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly the gravest economic and social crisis of a century. It has reversed decades of progress towards the achievement of the SDGs by pushing over 100 million people into extreme poverty and the loss of around 225 million full-time jobs. It has exacerbated the existing vulnerabilities and systemic inequalities in the global financial architecture. To meet the current challenge, vaccines for COVID-19 must be considered a global public good. Universal access to safe, effective, equitable, and affordable vaccines is the most immediate way to end the Pandemic, support economic recovery, and progress towards Sustainable Development Goals. Cooperation is needed to massively expand manufacturing capacity, particularly in low and middle-income countries. Investments in production facilities in developing countries are necessary for achieving this objective. Likewise, sharing of technology and information for the detection, prevention, treatment, and control of the pandemic and for vaccine production is essential. Access to health technologies for COVID-19, including through flexibilities contained in the TRIPS agreement, is immediately required. The Group supports ongoing discussions at the WTO for the temporary waiver of the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement to boost vaccine production in developing countries.Likewise, local and regional capacities must be enhanced to ramp up the production capacity of vaccines. Maintaining global supply chains of raw materials is important in this regard.  In addition, options to help increase production in developing countries should include voluntary licensing, technology pools, and platforms. The COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) could serve as a voluntary mechanism for sharing, research and development, knowledge, and data. The role of the private sector would also be important in sharing know-how and technology with vaccine manufacturing facilities in developing countries.

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